Happy New Year!

The world outside is dark; my fire burns low;
All’s quiet, save the ticking of the clock
And rustling of the ruddy coals, that flock
Together, hot and red, to gleam and glow.
The sad old year is near his overthrow,
And all the world is waiting for the shock
That frees the new year from his dungeon lock.—
So the tense earth lies waiting in her snow.
Old year, I grieve that we should part so soon,—
The coals burn dully in the wavering light;
All sounds of joy to me seem out of tune,—
The dying embers creep from red to white,
They die. Clocks strike. Up leaps the great, glad moon!
Out peal the bells! Old year,—dear year,—good night!

——Edward Estlin Cummings

Ah, this may not be one of ee cummings’ most innovative poems, but it does express something of what I’m feeling. In the past year we faced moving to a new house, some unexpected increases to our expenses, the death of my father, and four re-unions with siblings: lots of happy sad tumultuous times. I’m reluctant to look forward when looking back feels secure: the stories are familiar. The new year will bring new events, and I am taking a deep breath before getting up to begin.

One thought on “Happy New Year!

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