4th Day of Christmas/December 28th
In winter when cold hovers long with breath so bitter it
burns making its way down the throat like a shot of good
bourbon, and fingers bend resistantly but dutifully to
commands, here I sit on this ice box step the fourth day
of Christmas watching neighbor children skate without
blades where curbbed water did not drain and is now
joined with the sidewalk and level with the neighbor’s
driveway. They push and shove and snort as they tumble,
the smallest bravely taking each spill less padded than the
others. Holy Innocents at play under a grey day in Colorado
where the sun bids an early farewell leaving us to warm our
bones and hearts left out in the chill with unfeigned shenanigans.
And on the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me “four calling birds,” apparently one way tradition gave to children as a means to remember there are four Gospels in the New Testament. Also this day commemorates the Feast of the Holy Innocents, as in the book of Matthew. The Coventry Carol was written for this day.