Under the Tree in the City


Stopping for gas in little Chenango,
while speeding my way to Charleston,
I caught an October surprise.
The town’s Christmas holiday decorations
already flew like tethered reindeer
and it wasn’t even Columbus Day.

Back in Albany, the City waits until
November to hang festive banners
and sparkly wreaths from the street lights.
Here, people sometimes don’t notice
the decorations anyway.
We probably move too fast or our hearts
hibernate in those tall buildings
hovering over those street lights.

Some of us stand above the jingling joy
like impatient parents over their children
who lie down on the floor watching
the electric train circling under
the lights beneath the Christmas tree.
The kids want just one more time,
and one more, and one more, hypnotized
by the flash and miniaturization
of the Holiday’s crystallization
of moments they may someday forget.

I think it was that day in Chenango
I decided to flop on the floor of my life
and enjoy the trains’ lights and whistles
like a little kid in Albany
as they whizzed and circled each
remaining year, on our way
to another Christmas here in the city.

2 thoughts on “Under the Tree in the City

  1. Well, you can take the small town boy out of there, & transplant his body & most of his mind to a big city (typo I had bug city;smile) but the soul of him, the eyes of creativity, the delicious dominion of the inner child, remain firmly rooted in the past, embracing, remembering the simplicity, honesty, & wholesomeness of such places, where Capote, Faulkner, & Steinbeck grew up.

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