Reminders 🎄

by Patrice M. Wilson

Salvation Army rings bells
beside red kettles,
a homeless man with dirty dreads
trudges the sidewalk.
I am closer to him
than I imagine,
the miles of distance
created by lines
invisible, but thick red
like blood
or the red of each fat Santa
at every mall.
I like to hope for him
the best,
Christmas lights in windows,
a clean home—
but I look around
my too-small apartment
where sits each year
on makeshift box furniture
covered by hand-hemmed cloth,
a tiny artificial tree
which I decorate
with a long white string
of false pearls.

From the chapbook On Neither Side by Patrice M. Wilson

Born Catholic in Newark NJ, raised in Catholic schools, Patrice M. Wilson has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, having earned her MA there and her BA at the University of Maryland, College Park. She was editor of the very fine Hawaii Pacific Review for 16 years while teaching at Hawaii Pacific University. She has three chapbooks of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and one full-length poetry collection with Christian publisher eLectio Publishing. Dr. Wilson recently spent five years in the cloistered Carmelite monastery in Kaneohe, HI. She is now a retired professor living in Mililani, Oahu, HI.

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