Christmas Night

By Conrad Hilberry b. 1928 Conrad Hilberry
Let midnight gather up the wind   
and the cry of tires on bitter snow.   
Let midnight call the cold dogs home,   
sleet in their fur—last one can blow   

the streetlights out.   If children sleep   
after the day’s unfoldings, the wheel   
of gifts and griefs, may their breathing   
ease the strange hollowness we feel.   

Let midnight draw whoever’s left   
to the grate where a burnt-out log unrolls   
low mutterings of smoke until   
a small fire wakes in its crib of coals.

Poem copyright © 2008 by Conrad Hilberry, whose most recent book of poetry is After-Music, Wayne State University Press, 2008. Poem reprinted from “The Hudson Review,” Vol. 60, no. 4, Winter 2008, by permission of Conrad Hilberry.

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Poet Conrad Hilberry b. 1928

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern


Born in Melrose Park, Illinois and raised in Ferndale, Michigan, Conrad Hilberry is a longtime resident of the Great Lakes region. He earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; he was a professor of English at Kalamazoo College in Michigan from 1962 to 1998. Hilberry’s poetry collections include Encounter on Burrows Hill and Other Poems (1968), Rust (1974), Man in the Attic . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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