When the December moon is bright
and turkeys strut their free-range stuff,
sharp points of claws imprint fresh falls of snow,
when the owl’s hoot is the only sound to pierce
through pines that wait for an axe-man’s tread ─
the chop, the fall, the pull, the net, the boot.
When holly pricks in blood-red berry bursts
and ivy twines in wreaths, mistletoe is cut
for white fruit clusters above kissing heads,
when lights of a thousand fairies dance
in spruce and willow by suburban doors,
nodding snowmen glow and billow
I try to look the other way, not back.