At Christmas many people draft a letter,
A twelve-month circular of news and stuff.
I think on balance verses can be better,
Two modest sonnets probably enough.
Last winter stank, with record falls of snow;
The summer brought a hurricane, “Irene”!
And staged a local earthquake (impact: low);
Another storm cut power on Hallowe’en
(Because the trees had not yet lost their leaves
Much snow built up, and snapped off mighty branches;
The power lines were cut, then hateful thieves
Nicked farmers’ generators from their ranches.)
Throughout my house stood solid as a rock,
Ein feste Berg, the finest on the block.
But in between I traveled far and wide,
To Cape Town, Perth, Chicago, Stockholm, Leeds,
And London several times, although I tried
To match each trip to really pressing needs.
In Melbourne, to St. George’s we transferred
Our parents’ ashes, laying them athwart
Two pretty cherries, such that Mum preferred,
And long ago convinced them to import
Before that very garden was implanted.
With every end there comes a new beginning:
To Sophie, Simon’s second child, is granted
A brand new baby boy whose name, so winning,
Is Jack—late-breaking news of recent days,
A Christmas gift: To him your glass please raise!