Letters

December fills me with dread

Asked by: Molly, Montréal

Answered by: Poetry Clinic

Dear Poetry Clinic

With the holidays coming up, December fills me with dread. I have built up a sad catalogue of holiday memories – lonely walks, cold feet, other people’s dripping roasts.

In short, the holidays create a special kind of loneliness. Can you help?

Yours hopefully,

Molly, Montréal


Dear Molly,

The holidays can be horrendous unremitting thrum of ghosts. It may at times feel as if there are no remedies for the frozen feet and dread. But there are ways.

Read “Gifts of Grace” aloud 3 times tomorrow. Think of someone in your life, who needs care, a gift. Find something in your home. It could be a cookie, a word, a pair of socks. Hold it near your head, close your eyes while picturing that person. If it feels right, call them, visit them, offer them the object or some thoughts. 

Then, next time it snows, look for snow falling on eyelashes. Find an evergreen and spend a minimum of 1 minute looking at it for 5 days in a row.

Wishing you warm feet and company, 

Poetry Clinic

Gifts of Grace

I saw a great teapot
I wanted to get you this stupendous
100% cotton royal blue and black checked shirt,
There was a red and black striped one too
Then I saw these boots at a place called Chuckles
They laced up to about two inches above your ankles
All leather and in red, black or purple
It was hard to have no money today
I won’t even speak about the possible flowers and kinds of lingerie
All linen and silk with not-yet-perfumed laces
Brilliant enough for any of the Graces
Full of luxury, grace notes, prosperousness and charm
But I can only praise you with this poem—
Its being is the same as the meaning of your name

-Bernadette Mayer

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