The Lull / by Alex Williamson

Lost in parenthetical days

of late-December drift,

the interregnum between

Boxing Day and New Years Eve

where nothing happens,

only the post-Christmas blues

laying all low

like a collective hangover;

the persistent dark

a kind of grief

glib lights and pine trees

no longer lift.

Left to fend for ourselves,

we subsist on scraps,

sleepwalk in the gloom

of denatured parks,

bleak high streets

cashing checks, returning gifts,

sift through TV listings,

tuck ourselves into cold beds

and hope for better things

in the coming year,

when we will be kinder,

gentler, more humane

than the sorry species

we are now;

while others

burn their diaries,

hawk the family silver,

pawn their children,

and blunder into churches

to mumble numb prayers.