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Number 62 In Blue

The candle sputtered
Then guttered out
The wick a speck in the wax
The old poet looked
And suffered to stand up
The last present wrapped was Jack’s

A fresh Christmas candle
Striped Santa red and holly green
With its new flame warmed the room
Placing presents about
A tree to shame Charlie Brown
The shards of wrapping left with the broom

The cat’s tail flicked serene
The poet reached for his quill
As words soft filled a new page
A chance Winter memory
Spurred the poet on
Thoughts neither steep nor very sage

She bought him skis for a gift
Though “cross” country would mean something else
Tears of laughter with every tumble and spill
He wondered where she was now
A score of years have long passed
When meeting on Concourse B was such the piquant thrill

Chinese Five Spices
Floated upon the solemn merlot
The poet paused to let the tightness pass
Tomorrow the two-state drive
Back to his beloved Crescent City
Though this year without his own wee lass

Daughter would be skiing
Off out with her Mother and half family
Cross country over in the mountain West
He’d be with swiftly aging brother
And a Christmas with the family Creole
But things always work out for the best

A meow and a sigh
The poet let Jack out the door
A cat in search of secret nocturnal meetings
The candle blew out neat
The cold front had as promised arrived
As the rain pelted out its Season’s Greetings

Waxing and waning here came Christmas Number Sixty-two
But he yet looked ahead brightly through this Yuletide in Blue

And On The Thirteenth Day…

The snow had sloughed off from the roof
To pile up beneath her window
Season’s Greetings, and all the rest—
[Even Poet knows not how this’ll all go]

Lost in thought, she looked up,
The new book had washed of distraction,
But seeing the snow inviting her so—
Tobogganing looked like the next attraction

With hooded coat, and all scarfed up,
Melissa dragged out her new sled.
Trudging over to Dead Man’s Hill
She intended to be a blaze of red

From top’o the hill, she surveyed the scene:
She readied for a sure mighty shove;
When grasping her ear, a plaintive cry
Came from the pine tree branching above

Melissa scanned, and looked and looked,
But couldn’t locate the sad wee voice.
So, grabbing a branch, up she went.
[Later, she’d claim she’d no choice!]

Up two and then four and at last ten,
Melissa topped the old pine tree.
There, clinging to a branch, and shivering so much,
Was such a sight our young girl did see

Embracing the trembling bundle,
She slowly made her way down;
Down too steep Dead Man’s Hill
And all the cold way back to town

In her house: “MOM! Come see!”
The child’s sharp clarion call so rang.
Run came Mother, and also Dad
With her two sisters, the rest’o the inside gang

There, in the hamper of knitting yarn:
Shaking between bolts of tan and blue;
A wee calico kitten, slick from snow
Looked up as if to inquire: ‘what’d I do?’

Getting a towel from hallway closet,
Mom burnished the furry ball ‘til dry.
Dad held Melissa and the other two girls
And, of course, they all began to cry

But Mother was sharp, and off she went
With the little furball to the breakfast nook—
And opened up a can of evaporated milk;
Presenting the saucer was all it took

“I guess we can keep her,” Dad opined,
And those sobs turned into peals of joy.
Twas the day after Christmas, so you’ll know,
That the kitten was the bestest ever “toy”

What to name her, was the last task,
To end this story they’d forever so tell.
Well, the choice was obvious, I rather thought:
I’d like you to meet our new cat, NOEL.