Yuletide Poetry Competition Third Place: When The December Moon Is Bright by Jill Munro

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.

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