Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

A poem for the dark days of December

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Dec• 13•14

december frozen branchesTHE WRITING LIFE
Give me the names for things, just give me their real names,
Not what we call them, but what
They call themselves when no one’s listening –
At midnight, the moon-plated hemlocks like unstruck bells,
God wandering aimlessly elsewhere.
Their names, their secret names.

December. Everything’s black and brown. Or half-black and half-brown.
What’s still alive puts its arms around me,
amen from the evergreens
That want my heart on their ribbed sleeves.
Why can’t I listen to them?
Why can’t I offer my heart up
To what’s in plain sight and short of breath?

Restitution of the divine in a secular circumstance –
Page 10, The Appalachian Book of the Dead,
the dog-eared one,
Pre-solstice winter light laser-beaked, sun over Capricorn,
Dead-leaf-and-ice-mix grunged on the sidewalk and driveway.
Short days. Short days. Dark soon the light overtakes.
Stump of a hand.
– Charles Wright

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