The Beauty of His Feet on Christmas Morning
Outside the covers, beneath my lips.
Paper and bows from last night’s unwrapping
crushed into balls
on the carpet downstairs.
Stockings now emptied.
Board games await the afternoon.
The coffee’s unmade, and his son sleeps
in his jeans. Rabbit tracks pock the snow
between townhouses. Spruce stand there
like shepherds, like the souls
of our beloved dead.
Possibly I have died, too. Another spent candle
among the ceramic nativity scene,
the donkey and cow
each missing their right ear.
The world glows. Daylight on his feet,
the gospel of snow. A rain of crumbs
where we sat late into the night, laughing
and eating Hungarian biscuits.
The poinsettia’s leaves. The silent guitar.
The delicate sculpture of his arch.
Amid the chaos and flurries—
holiness and champagne. These bared,
innocent flares. No one beating
at my doors. Only these
two stark winter birds. I begin again
at his shoreline.
-Shelley A. Leedahl