ghosts of christmases past

just an ember
in the ashes
in the hearth
in the midst
of a fireplace

cooling off
stones grown cold
in the midst
of a big
empty room

full of sheeted
furniture still
petrified ghosts
frozen in the chill
of indifferent interest

and neglect so still
in the midst
of a house
full of voices
merely echoes

of those voices
long ago
when the ghosts
were thawed and human
and limber in

the room so warm
the fire bright
the stones so hot
and embers glowing
and their skin shining

and their bones throbbing
like maps of knowing
to the way that heaven
felt back then
and where they’d gone

and where they’d been.