Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Card to Grace Hartigan


marc yankus

There's no holly, but there is
the glass and granite towers
and the white stone lions
and the pale violet clouds. And
the great tree of balls in
Rockefeller Plaza is public.

Christmas is green and general
like all great works of the
imagination, swelling from minute
private sentiments in the desert,
a wreath around our intimacy
like children's voices in a park.

For red there is our blood
which, like your smile, must be
protected from spilling into
generality by secret meanings,
the lipstick of life hidden
in a handbag against violations.

Christmas is the time of cold air
and loud parties and big expense,
but in our hearts flames flicker
answeringly, as on old-fashioned
trees. I would rather the house
burn down than our flames go out.
Frank O'Hara


Lydia said...

This is one of those pieces that makes me think there's no reason to write again because it's been done to perfection.
That second stanza especially is masterful.
I hope you enjoy beautiful and peaceful holidays.

layers said...

in the crass commercialism of $$$mas-- trying to hold on to the small moments of family and friends-- beautiful sentiments and images.

Kelly M. said...

so glad you shared a holiday image/poem with us -- missed visiting your blog -- pax!