Dark and still as the middle of the night,
And quiet. I open the screened door and walk
Into the glow of the Christmas lights left burning since last evening.
The rooster crows as if trying to say I did not wake him,
that he was already alert and indeed had been for some time.
His voice is raspy, harsh as sandpaperagainst the soft morning.
Below, our little run rushes through its gorge between the shrouded hills,
Over-full from hours of steady rain.
In the air the scent of spring and yet
Today is Christmas Eve; it is 70 degrees even this early,
Strange warmth for early winter. Japonica blooms
Between the evergreen firs and forsythia twinkles its shy yellow stars.
I stand in my gown, searching the sky above for the Star of Bethlehem
But clouds cover the promise
Of light and hope. Yet still
I gaze upward through skeleton trees