The rented A-frame off Casco Bay

has one-and-a-half baths and a mute

handyman she hired in May. It’s

December: his left eye clouded

up around Thanksgiving, and now

its stiffening blue makes her think

of the boreal winter she survived

in Saskatchewan, the night her best

Guernsey fell through the ice.



she loathes carolers, their hairless

chins, the stench of sacred hymns

and condescension and probably gin

as the little ones lob snowballs at her

window, heralds of joy she feels hit

from high in the attic. Novel idea,

but she knows she’s already chosen:

below her in the snow-black house

the man stirs, howls, begins to sing.



Originally published in Poet Lore