NEAR WOODFIN, CHRISTMAS EVE
You are sipping wine and sewing potholders. In a photograph above your mantel, the sun crouches on its starting blocks at the onset of the wintry day. Outside your house, snow falling will soon be tracked with bear prints. You have a gun in case a bear breaks through the sliding glass door leading to your patio. The sun in the photograph is dissolute, bleached, tangled in its own effulgence. You have banked the fire for the fireplace, and are disappointed in men. Where are they now, with their good rank smell and their arrogance, their impatience, their faithless hearts? Over us all there is the spanking coverlet of snow on Christmas Eve. You boast, and then mourn, the fact that you are alone in this vigil. Sexual congress can be explained by the heaving and even dangerous interconnectedness of things, inherent in our DNA, which is closer to bear tracks than you ever thought.
Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, 32 Poems, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry and the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Prize from the Academy of American Poets, he is the author of two plays, "Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants" and "In His Ecstasy—The Passion of Gerard Manley Hopkins," which he performs as one-man shows. FutureCycle Press published his first-full length collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, in the summer of 2015. He leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online for poets and for writers working in creative prose.