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H. O. Wells

jingled sleigh; a rhythmic trot

my squinted eyes and pink-red face

flushed by stinging wind bites

on the blizzard-drifted road



I see the spires

of those gorgeous Douglas fir!

snow encased with weighted arms

bending from the burden white

…spiny drooping spears

in fading light


lanterns cast their searching beam

anguished angles probe the night

beyond the flowing, tilted crest

HOME I’ve found!…family, friends

and dog with wagging tail


prancing Fred,

…clomping hooves

on stable floor

and snorts on freezing air

safe again within the barn

crunchy hay and oats

his only need


now I trod the crunchy path

melting ice on frozen beard

mind is drifting…cold…so cold!


Christmas tree – that twinkling bright!

glasses raise when I come in

toasts to all the everythings


that keeps the goblets full!


  well-intentioned raucous cheers

waves and smiles I give them - then

…a wince from clumsy feet

that step on mine


God! I am so hungry

…for love, for warmth

that waits for me

in lofts just up the stairs….


gentle fingers

soothe my brow

tender kiss

…her whisper in my ear


“Our children

need your lips

upon their cheeks...”


Cindy drapes my neck

with teeny kisses; tiny arms

Randy scoots around the floor

…sprawling wooden soldiers everywhere!


relish this, I think to me

think, then KNOW these treasured gifts

love of children, loving wife

…urgent hugs to father from the cold


on the porch

I tug on fur-lined gloves

squint into the winking white-on-black

ahh! my sweet dog, Ginger!

faithful collie

nudging on my thigh


again I trudge the slippery path

…and collie?

blur of frolic!

licks me wet, then skits through shadows

romping through the brisk and star-lit wind


barn door creaks -

[I slip on trampled ice]

curry-comb warm fingers

through Fred’s aging bulbous flank


loyal, patient, weary steed


who brought me home

to all of this….

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