A little boy asks his mother
What comes after December?
All he can think of is darkness.
A dark field, or a wall.
Stairs going down and down.
A sky without stars.
Still, the boy reasons, his mother
has lived through many Decembers;
even he has encountered December before,
he’s almost positive. January,
says his Mom. After December
there’s January. And then she
takes his hand and walks with him
down the street and into the rest
of his immense, unknowable life.
From Everything Happens Twice (Fireweed Press, 2002)
Used with the author’s permission.