Ringing in 2022

(adapted from Simon Wilkes at Unsplash)

Here’s an older poem I wrote and posted on another social media site once upon a time. Not a bad fit when looking at the year ahead.

After midnight grab your coat and shoulder a cold
that tugs at you as though it might venture one last
anxious question, the kind blatantly meant to make
you stay for civility’s sake. But now is not
the time for courtesies or deferrals: we must
watch the depleted year yield up its final fires
in refineries behind us, watch the pale plumes
of votive smoke climb like ivy or some serpent
searching for a skin that fits. As we chase down dawn
let us be grateful then for this, our singular skin,
this spirited skin that carries us from the cold
toward a sunrise we’ll wear like the bruises we bear,
this indelible skin on which we’ll inscribe the lines
of each pledge and confession we’re ready to risk,
this forgiving, exquisite, articulate skin
that feels the new year, finds itself marked but unmarred,
and tells us to rise up and risk it again.

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