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Ten Ways to Look at the Coming of the Winter Holidays
Erle Kelly


The garden’s lone butterfly
lights on the leafless hardened fig,
searches for food, a mate.

Fireside smoke
ripples the night air,
warmth surrounds the family.

Insects, rats, feral cats
look for crawl space,
a winter habitat.

The homeless, the drunks
move out of the shadows, alleys
to soup kitchens, shelter.

Christmas shoppers swing in and out
of mall and strip-center doors,
drop coins in Salvation Army pots.

Mothers, sisters, aunts bake cookies,
box them up, send to soldiers
in faraway lands.

Season trimmings, motifs
are hung, plastered, placed
in their annual holiday spots.

Wrapped gifts adorn the tree
toys for tots, gift cards for teens;
gift receipts ready for returns.

A time to gather, to hug,
reflect on the year just past
and wait for signs of spring.

The squirrel secures the last fig,
the lone butterfly flies
through winter’s door.


© by Erle Kelly.
Used with the author’s permission.



Erle Kelly lives in Long Beach, California and attended California State University Long Beach. He tutors at a local elementary school and attends a weekly poetry workshop. Erle and his wife, Kris, enjoy traveling and exploring the world. They also belong to the city's community garden where they grow their own vegetables. 



Post New Comment:
barbara eknoian:
Erle Kelly's poem takes us with him to his observations of nature, which he has a keen eye, and the people he observes like the homeless coming out of the shadows, to the love and hugs of family.
Posted 12/02/2016 11:22 AM
perfect poem to begin Dec. Each stanza a painting!
Posted 12/01/2016 05:41 AM
I like the mild irony of how things are.
Posted 12/01/2016 02:20 AM

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