Christmas Trees

By William Logan b. 1950 William Logan
How should I now recall
the icy lace of the pane
like a sheet of cellophane,
or the skies of alcohol

poured over the saltbox town?
On that stony New England tableau,
the halo of falling snow
glared like a waxy crown.

Through blue frozen lots
my giant parents strolled,
wrapped tight against the cold
like woolen Argonauts,

searching for that tall
perfection of Scotch pine
from the hundreds laid in line
like the dead at Guadalcanal.

The clapboard village aglow
that starry stark December
I barely now remember,
or the brutish ache of snow

burning my face like quicklime.
Yet one thing was still missing.
I saw my parents kissing,
perhaps for the last time.

Source: Poetry (June 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2012

Biography

Poet and critic William Logan was born in Boston in 1950 and earned degrees from Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Since 1975, his work—both poetry and criticism—has regularly appeared in major journals and publications such as the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Paris Review, Poetry, and the New Criterion. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Sad-Faced Men (1982), Sullen Weedy Lakes (1988), . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Winter

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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