2013: Rachel Avery: “Markers” and “That’s All Those Poinsettias Are; Pretty”

Rachel Avery
New Hampshire High School Poetry Winner

windows work smoothly
curtains blow coldly
mother’s fingers freezing like grandma’s bones
we can’t shut it
soft ocean cloth, so salty it hurts

That’s All Those Poinsettias Are; Pretty
Rachel Avery
New Hampshire High School Poetry Winner

the air slipped and fell and froze,
and the shallow taste of pink sherbet definitely wasn’t christmas.
the cheer was stale and the eggnog languished on the tongue.
those poinsettias whispered in the corner. bright red.
the choked noises silent, and so the leaves forgot
to gossip. the stillness burst by carols re-sung, and played
so many times, our ears threatened to cease.
don’t tell me they didn’t in the first place.
the tree wasn’t real. strung with too-large bulbs,
and the ornaments so commercialized, they seemed out of sorts.
not showing even the slightest home-made feeling.
sunday was marked by the unoriginal bell
chiming hours ago at twelve. midnight
had cast its own romance away, so the children waking up and hiding
under the stairs, waiting for santa claus, well, they don’t want to come
anymore. the pretty flowers in the corner, those lovely poinsettias,
given merely to excuse their absence. the occupants of the house won’t have
grandchildren accompanying them on christmas.
that’s all those pretty poinsettias are; pretty.

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