by Len Krisak (January 2012)

Each year, the mantel’s easier to dust

Come Advent; ampler space is being made.

Though as for what . . . .  It’s not as if we must

Be clearing room; the cause is something other.

So much the world would send us looks to fade

More, every year. Not even someone’s brother

Is immune. Ties loosen and are lost.

Some, thought of once as surely deathless friends,

Begin to stop. One feels the winter frost

More every season; every season ends.

The glittering field-and-manger scenes—the crèches,

Twinkling stars, and blue-robed Virgins—go.

How is it that they now seem almost precious

Above the fire, while outside, all is snow?

Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010


To comment on this poem, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish original poetry such as this, please click here.

If you have enjoyed this poem and want to read more by Len Krisak, please click here.