Christmas Lights ~ Jason Tandon


You see them still up in January

as the days struggle to push the light

past four o’clock,


snow clouds like balled rags

soaking up spills of blue and pink

from the afternoon sky.


An unseen hand flips a switch

and for a moment it’s early December.

Cars zip home with trees twined to their roofs,


and the local donut shop

serves hot chocolate

with peppermint shavings in curls of cream.


It may only be a single bush

strung in front of a single house

on a long, darkened block,


but those white lights—gold, really—

are just enough to get you through

the salt and sand, slush and freeze,


George Bailey and the town of Bedford Falls

caroling “Auld Lang Syne”

in the drums of your frost-nipped ears.