[poem] This is how a year ends.

This is how a year ends:
Slow.

I watch the seconds slip by,
in almost silence. 
I light no fireworks.

When the last year came in I
ran through streets, 
waved at strangers,
danced with sparklers in both fists
to the rhythm of exploding skies. I

wished for a brighter year, 
a better life. I
am, perhaps, a better self:

beaten, battle-worn, 
maybe wiser. 
Definitely, older.
Definitely, tired.

Maybe a little lighter,
for all that I have lost.

Another year is ending.
I count the seconds, count the cost
of all the hope I offered
on the pyre of the sky:

family turned strangers,
love dissolving into lies
that we will keep on telling,
if only to keep the peace.

I watch the new year enter,
silent, slow; release
a breath I did not know
I’d held back all this time.

Let others loose their noisy hopes.
This year, I’ll whisper mine.

Fin

-0-

Happy new year.

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