On this

On this, the last day of the year,
I arose in a noche oscura,
Wandered out into the fog
And glimpsed the sharp cold light
Of the waning moon
Above the shrouded pines.

On this, the last day of the year,
I fried French toast for my wife—
Breakfast in bed—
Washed the penultimate dishes
And peeled potatoes for a
Ham-and-green-bean supper.

On this, the last day of the year,
I paused before a gnarled tree:
Red berries encased in ice;
Motionless corpuscles frozen
Along arterial branches
Of a neighbor who died
This December.

On this, the last day of the year,
I crushed a block of ice melt
And scattered the remains
Over our front frozen steps
While a small brown bird
Piped his lively call
From a bare branched tree
Across the street.

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