To open a window in December

is to hear the winter sing.

The sky sends down its frosted bells

to coat the cooling ground,

and I watch in fern-green envy

as it gently drifts to sleep.

The world is a candied heartbeat,

swelling with holiday spirit

at the rise of every note.

They tell you

that if you listen very closely,

it will call for you to sing along—

but the song rests on the listener’s ear,

and mine can’t hear a thing.


At times, the air is masked

with the beat of drumming voices.

It’s not so quiet in my house,

and a pulsing mind is little better.

I cannot venture out the door

without some cheerful command

to be merry, happy, good, or else—

and I smile as best I can.

I lift my hand to wave

as any friendly neighbor should.

I return the kindly wishes,

and I’d like to think they’re honest.

It’s hard to know without the music.


If I had a song inside my head,

would the winter want to listen?

It wouldn’t be the kind of song

the snow would blush in pride

to call its own.

It would question why I feel so numb

when the bells feel so much joy;

and it would wonder why I always sigh

and circle to a blank refrain.

I wouldn’t want to sing it,

and that’s why I have no song.

I never learned to mend

the shattered record on the shelf.


I used to have a song to sing,

and it was loud, bright, and glad.

I was never one for silent nights.

Peace was all I’d ever known,

and I had never heard the tune of loss.

But when I set that crimson table

and watched the numbers around it shrink,

I found my heart in empty places

where the beat was just as hollow.

There is always that drumbeat,

making no melodies with its rhythm.

A throbbing hole,

deaf to the world.


To open a window in December

is to hear the winter sing—

but to open Christmas gates in heaven

will be to hear creation thunder.

If winter’s music gives a taste,

dreams of the future race the beat of my pulse.

I often wonder

how the whole of the blissful realm

will hold the songs of every tongue,

but I needn’t fear the Composer’s might.

I will learn to sing again;

but for now,

perhaps heaven will lend me a song.

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