and through our abode,
there lingers a fragrance of cinnamon and cloves.
No stockings were hung here —
the children all grown,
gone to in-laws and ski slopes
with children of their own.
Weâ€™re done with the shopping
and decorating trees,
over the holiday stress
that once brought us to our knees.
But one habit remains
though many have flown,
the baking of bread
with the warm taste of home.
So bring on the butter, brew a fresh pot of tea,
’tis the Day After Christmas for you and for me.
One of my favorite memories of this year was a short period of teaching creative writing to elders at a retirement community.Â The day I got the assignment, I also found a copy of Judith Viorst‘s wonderful Unexpectedly Eighty: And Other Adaptations at the library.Â So I brought it in with me to a session and read the last poem in the collection: After Giving the Matter A Great Deal of Thought. Then, I asked the participants to write that line on the top of a piece of paper and continue on for about ten minutes.Â We had such a good time with this exercise, no one wanted the session to end, and I have all kinds of new ideas about doing more of this work.Â Creativity bubbles up wherever it can.Â You just have to give it space and make it welcome.Â Try this exercise for yourself.Â It’s a great year-ender.
Here’s a post-Christmas gift for you lovers of poetry who have yet to subscribe to Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac:Â click here. Â I couldn’t live without this daily reminder that, as William Carlos Williams puts it: “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”