A December Wish
You hear the sound of carols from afar.
Bright bulbs and tinsel, cinnamon and cloves.
Beyond a hill of snow you see a star.
Here you can look at stacks of Christmas trees,
buy nuts and raisins, fruit from nearby groves,
cards inscribed in gold: “joy, love and peace.”
And you can eat kielbasa from a spit
as fat drips sizzling in makeshift stoves
and zlotys are exchanged and butts are lit.
Here you can watch fat women slaughter fish
if you stand in the line and bear the shoves,
pretending that you really have a wish.
And for a moment you can close your eyes
and can forget the cold that pierces gloves
and see a diamond necklace in the skies,
or Jesu here among the city doves.
Leo Yankevich's Other Poems
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