New Year’s Poem

The Christmas twigs crispen and needles rattle

Along the window-ledge.

A solitary pearl

Shed from the necklace spilled at last week’s party

Lies in the suety, snow-luminous plainness

Of morning, on the window-ledge beside them.

And all the furniture that circled stately

And hospitable when these rooms were brimmed

With perfumes, furs, and black-and-silver

Crisscross of seasonal conversation, lapses

Into its previous largeness.

I remember

Anne’s rose-sweet gravity, and the stiff grave

Where cold so little can contain;

I mark the queer delightful skull and crossbones

Starlings and sparrows left, taking the crust,

And the long loop of winter wind

Smoothing its arc from dark Arcturus down

To the bricked corner of the drifted courtyard,

And the still window-ledge.

Gentle and just pleasure

It is, being human, to have won from space

This unchill, habitable interior

Which mirrors quietly the light

Of the snow, and the new year.

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