lie stacked on the cold garage floor,
sulking at our delay. She packed
them in August to leave in October,
till she sprained her foot in September,
and I broke a leg in October. Now it’s
December, and the boxes all mock
us, Staying together a while longer,
you two? We trim one last tree just
to divvy up ornaments and lights—
the tiny bulbs flickering like pixies
in their maddening way, taunting
us, Got any plans for the new year?
Meanwhile, the boxes stamp their feet
to keep warm, wishing they had legs
to march to their sunny new home.
Oliver Payne, of Kennebunk, Maine, thanks his remarkable teachers, Suzanne E. Berger, Betsy Sholl, David Rivard and Charles Simic. He serves on the Foundation Board of the Beloit Poetry Journal, and looks froward to retiring this year from his job as an advertising writer.