you, my darling, are a Christmas card
that i send my nephews—i write to them
and tell them that Santa Claus brought me
snowfall and berry trees that line cobblestone.

* * *

behind the view (i write to the boys) stands
a hill much grander than that in your grandmother's
backyard: imagine tobogganing down this
in your plastic sleds;

remember to bring your mittens when we
take up our axes and pluck an evergreen
from the softened ground—remember to say
thank you to the bounteous land.

each houselamp a tiny candle on our tree
and every little one asleep in their glow
a gift, wrapped up in quilts and tied
with their mothers' goodnight kisses.

the icy river flows as our baptismal font:
i will brave the frigid sheets to take
a sip, cleansing my soul so that i
may do your wanton innocence justice in the eyes

of God (make sure to tell your mothers
that i said that); then the churchtowers
call to us in the night, drawing us to worship
as the Magi and the Star.

* * *

for them, their uncle waits and sips
his coffee, rolls his cigarette, and waits
with his mistresses's camera, waiting for
your imminence for the Nativity.

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