Gerard Sarnat, 12 Days of Almost Christmas

I — Hermaphrodite

Like earthworms and snails,
I hibernate summertime
and make love in winter.

II — The Day After Halloween

The young man at the register says seriously, “54 cents.”
High roller that I am, I put down a dollar bill and say,
“Keep the change. Merry Christmas.”

III — RIP, Beatrice

Rain on rooftops turns
to snowflakes; one melts away
in a hospital bed.

IV — Homeless High-wire Act

Living’s hard during
good times. Winter safety net’s
gone kaput. See-ya.

V — Surreal

Imagine, dad’s dead:
Polish dad in a fur-lined
Hanukkah ghetto;

drive-thru funeral biz —
streaming memorial on TV –
lights, fam’ up.

VI — Thanksgiving

Not just one body,
your body, but our body.
It feels like touching god.

VII — Camouflaged Hunting Season

Harrumphing, all ears, in small-town diner,
a Jew too loud about Trump.
I could hear a pin drop
or a red-neck gun click;
it wasn’t clear.

VIII — Frosty the Snowwoman

Walking, scooting, we tell stories about Frosty the Snow
Woman, with carrot nose, raisin eyes, and plum buttons,
then even talk about what snow is.

IX — Premonitions of Winter

Out here, deep in virginal forest,
I remember the previous autumn
when our once trusty Subaru’s
dashboard WARNING messages
went wild, thus my wife worried
me into resolving what bad stuff
could be happening currently.

So, in comparison when the same
lights went on, this time looking alone,
good news is the brake cable’s intact
plus no mother rodent snarling under
the hood — but the bad’s another gnawed
line and nest of mischievous rattlings.

After we drove to a mechanic’s shop on
top of the hill, Tim (while skinning a Roosevelt
Elk shot on his recent hunting trip), mollified us,
“If your car’s out at night, leave lid up just a bit;
cold air’ll drive the babies away.”

X — A Gin-Soaked Prayer

Farm, feast, or famine,
our pomegranates
and persimmons
that’ve come in
these weeks are
all we got now
until oranges,
pears, apples,
cherries then
peaches plus
some plums,
a few grapes
perhaps; my
Jesus Christ,
you alone
do know
how they
will end
end with

XI — Nut-Gathering

Rabid, orange, castrated, coiffed rabbit
of a squirrely man — if T***p is alone,
does he exist? Inscape now apparently
impossible for this twit of tragi-comic
quixotica, no relic of rest appears upon
The White Hutch’s harebrained horizon

what with rage-tweet Mueller vetocracy
attempts stewing, while his fam dukes it out
to find some lame duck egress before
those damn Dems try their best to foil ’em
in January, after taking control of The House.

XII — The Winter Solstice

Christ, son, oy vey,
turn off the Wagner
when we light Hanukkah candles.

Gerard Sarnat has won the Poetry in the Arts award and the Dorfman Prize, been nominated for various Pushcarts, and authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting The Ice King (2016). His work has been widely published.

Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry has worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, and been a CEO and Stanford Med professor. Married for a half-century, Gerry has three kids and four grandkids, so far.

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