Alone on Christmas Eve

Alone on Christmas Eve
a beer at my elbow
popped like champagne.
It’s warm for the time of year
coats open and flapping
like birds on a wire.
The Spring wind is whistling
catching cracks in the walls and
I’m sick of Glühwein –
bits crunch and grind
between sticky, sweet teeth –
so I drink beer while
the sofa waits
springs poised and plump
for my turkey behind.
In the morning
thawed
flawed but still here,
I hear carols broadcast on Radio Four
this Christmas cheer, this year
a haunting sound.
Throats are cracked and sore
from too much singing,
and small balls
held in hands
help chords
reach new heights.
I wrap presents on the kitchen floor
tear and fold, tear and fold
and remember again that
trees were cut down.
I read cards out loud on Skype
I shout:
A brain in a jar!
As I roam the room.
A vision of the future
this time
my turn
I tear and unfold, tear and unfold.
The image shimmers like glass
and pixilates.
Mum forgets
and shouts through
Do you want a coffee?
To the living room
to me;
a fish in a bowl, fish in a bowl.
Mouth open
mouth closed
sound muffled
then lost.
I break cinnamon sticks
and I wish I was home.
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