Literature » Poetry

“Christmas Alone 1992” – a poem by Michael L. Newell




CHRISTMAS ALONE 1992                                               


The slow tumble of snow past
my partially open window
recalls the year in Amman
I sat for hours watching
a bleak whiteness deepen

all through the abandoned farm fields
surrounding my apartment
while the cool sound of Miles
gave shape and form to my grief
thousands of miles from home

on a frozen Christmas where no one
could be seen on streets or through
windows of neighbors’ homes;
distant cars on the far side of
empty fields seemed like toys

moved in slow motion by children;
a quiet breeze drifted through
a cracked window to fill the silent
spaces in Miles’ solos,
and my small dog softly snored

a guttural accompaniment, a peculiar
percussion, and I rocked and nodded
as I kept time to the snow, wind,
dog, and muted trumpet;
the windows moaned in response

to an occasional gust; all visible
and invisible seemed alone, and the years
locked in memory came tumbling out
like snowflakes blown by wind,
like a trumpet solo etched into sound

by a musical genius; it is odd how grief,
stark landscape, falling snow, and a mournful
trumpet solo could seem a blessing that created
beauty, that guided a listener to sleep’s peace,
as night seeped across fields, enveloped my mind.


                            Khilda, Amman, Jordan




Michael L. Newell is a retired secondary school English/Theatre teacher who has lived one-third of his life abroad on five continents.  He is passionate about a wide range of music, jazz being a particular favorite.  He now lives on the south-central Oregon coast.