The Lyric Poem Prize
The winter solstice promised
longer days or shorter nights.
Now after the greenery
and mistletoe and symbols
of the sun reborn have been
swept outside, I’m still waiting.
In the morning when I leave
for work, it’s still night. Coming
home, it’s night again. The snow
will not melt. Branches still bare
convince me that the trees have
been skeletons forever.
The psychologists call it
seasonal affective disorder.
Diagnosis is a sad
substitute for cyclical myth.
My ancestors called it winter.
They watched for snowdrops to bloom
and for the ewes to lactate.
I’m ready for the next holy day.