It’s almost the new year. 2013 will soon stumble in, badly shaken by the final events of 2012. It’s a time for wondering if it’s worth it, if the patterns are doomed to continue. If there’s a chance for change. And yet, despite the poor outlook, hope creeps in, insinuates itself somewhere in our hearts or minds, and begins to germinate. We have no reason, after the urgent optimism of youth, to be hopeful, and yet we persist. Who can explain it. But let us never stop rejoicing in it.

Woken

Cusp of morning,

a few birds

launch their eager

arguments at the dark.

Beyond my window

a 747 drones across the sky

laying a vaporous stripe

on the night’s dense asphalt.

What was it woke me

—birds? plane?

the heat

of remembered fires

raked hot again

in dream

Or the hiss and whistled sigh

of life embering?

I toss in the tangled arms

of a new day

feeling it stir, pull me

with its fresh enticements.

Hope, that ravishing drug,

works through my veins,

speeds my pulse

even as this body fails

and words fall away.

Outside, other sounds:

paper waking stoop

with its urgent slap

and, somewhere in the distance,

a persistent music.

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