Windy howls on wintry eve
muffle sounds of merriment.
Snow-packed squalls
wrack porch and wall;
the black of Yuletide storm
swallows the glow of jubilation.
Midnight chimes long since sounded,
echoes drown’d in frosty tempest,
No dawn clutches at inky sky.
morrow’s fortunes roil and churn,
as do boiling thunderheads
which o’er hearth and fir still lie.
Through vagrant cracks night’s chill gusts;
the flutter of timid flame
in strobing light casts huddled
forms braced against wayward gale;
In their widened eyes
is wintry darkness reflected.
Candlelight shrinks from the cold;
embers cling to scorched wicks.
Zephyr’s gales
cast ice and hail
—and yet, though grasp’d in frigid vise,
the candles do not die.
O’er three winters quenched in eternal night,
freezing flesh and snapping bone,
those stubborn flames do not subside,
in darkness growing ever bright,
the rays of banished sun
infusing their mounting glow.
Hope alights in once-dead eyes
of the gathered merry host.
Their hearts’ solstice does ordain
that from Earth, not Heaven,

shall dawn be born again.

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