Midlife Christmas

This season he travels back roads,

admires frost-covered field stubble,

caroling lights on distant homes,

flicks off the chattering radio,


that insincere inquisition

of state affairs and high office.

He’s abandoned freeways, the vans,

sports cars, and eighteen-wheeled commerce.


Yet his pickup is full of gifts.

Beside him sleeps his year old son,

beside him, his mother, head resting

on the wings of the car seat. Soon


they’ll arrive at home in the woods.

Tomorrow his son from the first

marriage returns. He’d not have dared,

two years ago, to have wished


for something as simple and true.

Sometimes night seemed never to end,

but one life has been made from two.

God gives us as long as we need.


from Angel Face and As Long As We Need (Dalton Publishing)

For my thoughts on writing this poem, follow this link.

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About lymangrant

Lyman Grant is a professor of creative writing and humanities at Austin Community College. He has work at ACC since 1978. He is the author or editor of two textbooks, two books relating to Texas literature, three volumes and a chapbook of poetry. Recently he traveled the United States for a year in a 34-foot RV 5th wheel trailer with his wife and two younger sons.