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New Year’s Eve

2020 is here and so are reflections about where we’ve been and where we are going. Lisa Russ Spaar gives us another thought-provoking poem for this holiday season: “New Year’s Eve.” Ms. Spaar is Professor and Director of Creative Writing and Director, Area Program in Poetry Writing in the Department of English in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia.


New Year’s Eve

The trough between this window
& evening’s falling, sleet-smeared show

is the stretch between the old year on spindle pins
& whatever’s coming, passing as the new, as “in.”

From here, it’s all a gothic, dishabille heap
of Edwardian horsehair sofa wire, creep

of bamboo, kudzu, in which the crickets no longer
weep too little, too late, decrying debts, debts.

Unrest always.  And my mouth’s too small  to
tell what’s beaten from the rug, the pall.

I used to use the word.  Said “pleasure trumps pain.”
No longer.  But I’m good at punctuation.

Which this is:  the year’s last, or almost last, syllable.
For which I hope my love for love is always liable.

                                           Lisa Russ Spaar