Pachysandra peek through the thin snow.
A leaf straggles slowly on the north wind.
Upside-down, woodpeckers search for suet.
Interrupting the frozen surface of the pond,
Air bubbles up meekly in two small circles.
Bass and bluegills rest seven feet below.
Behind a white fence the fire pit shivers.
The silent playhouse, under a gray tarp,
Waits for walls, windows, and a door.
After dark, cars passing by the gray house
See a yellow star crowning the arborvitae
And candles flickering in the window.
Inside, three magi approach the manger
On the mantle above the glow of a warm fire
And a toy train toots under the glorious tree.
Sweet carols and piercing toddler squeals
Accompany bountiful meals, bulging stockings,
Thoughtful presents, and boundless love.
(Chris Clark, December 2019)