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January 2016 vol 11 no 4

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Al Ortolani

Faulkner at Christmas

Thin snow screens the lawn, coating the drive, the sidewalks, the leaves in the dead flower garden. I step out to unplug the Christmas lights and my nostrils contract. Everyone is better off inside. When I listen to Christmas carols, the slow ones, the old songs we sang as children, I nearly weep. "White Christmas" breaks my heart. A silver bell warms in my pocket. I need to hang it back on the door. Even though I watch As I Lay Dying while wrapping presents, there is an ache for the old music.

ice on shopping carts,
the bell ringer’s squeaking
wet sneakers