by Sara Walters
Fresno is December: Amber's
gold scarf, cold car door handles,
Christmas songs with swear words in them.
December is home: six hour flights
from LAX to MCO, red felt stockings
with my brothers' names in peeling gold paint,
handfuls of walnuts from our grandparents
that we carry in the bottoms of our
pockets and purses, useless and thick.
Home is music: warped cookie pans popping
in the oven, my mother's scratched Christmas CDs,
quiet breathing from my nephew soft on baby monitors.
Fallen plastic pine needles stick in the carpet
until March, and we don't mind them, prickling
the bottoms of our feet until April brings better weather.