Alone on Christmas Night

The vicious voice of winter is the pock-
marked strangler sneaking up behind
you in an alley filled with bums and winos,
when you are lonely on a Christmas night.
The tendons of his hands are ropes
and pulleys, breath that burns as cold as steel,
but when he wraps his silky fingers round
your neck his scent is sweet with want.

The voice of winter is a final overdose,
a card-game lost, it’s candle light reflected
in the soily snow from windows closed
when you are lonely on a Christmas night,
and when morning comes they close the body-
bags and leave you for even more alone.

Linked to Tuesday Platform for Pat at toads.
—-
December 25, 2018

20 responses to “Alone on Christmas Night

  1. Winter is no friend to those unsheltered, unwanted, and often almost unseen by the rest of society. And under those circumstances Christmas must become a monstrous joke–a time of giving when all they get is more pain.

    P.S. I hope the bug is completely gone soon.

  2. There are some for whom the holidays are nothing but lemon juice slowly dripped on old wounds that never healed. I can only imagine what a hellscape that must feel like, especially when they are surrounded by bright and glittering things that demand to be seen but never can be touched.

  3. The heart of darkness walks in all kind of light and seasons, and to be shut out is as bad and hard as being shut (with)in. Too many fall into the depths, through the cracks and are left for dead, even if not physically so – and the spirit of giving, in light and love, is so often in short supply.

    A hard edged and biting poem, about the truth of loneliness and despair, hopelessness – which is even more important to remember, perhaps, most especially during a time of celebration and lights.

    I hope you recover well and can find comfort and joy during your holidays Bjorn – and all the best for the new year. Cheers.

  4. I’ve closed down that bar many times in the ghost-lamp of Christmases past. Alone for the holidays has an iron ring to it, and the worst harrow of addiction is a cold night when there isn’t a soul on earth who cares where you are. That solitude is infinite. Well and bravely done.

  5. It’s no fun being alone in holiday times, winter alone is particularly hard. Followed by Thanksgiving which is also big with family gatherings. Using the alliteration of the dangerous alleys goes for the ‘kill’.
    ..

  6. Your poem is so vivid, Björn, it gives me a serious chill – and there i was, upset because our log burner broke on Christmas Eve. We did have my little nine-month-old grandson here and I was worried it would be too cold for him. The personification of winter as a ‘pock-marked strangler sneaking up behind you’ is particularly strong, as is ‘breath that burns as cold as steel’ and the thought of being shut out on a Christmas night.

  7. Till now just reading most poems about wonderful winter and that time of the year when festivities are all around! But you have given a totally different perspective…cold, dark and lonely!
    I hope no one is lonely during such times!

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