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Just when you feel you are going to break,
when the light-dark of this month

and all that you do to embrace the light:

the tree
the presents
the birthday party planning
figuring out when you will go see the trains and the Christmas lights
and is there time to make cookies?

starts to feel like too many to dos,
when you wonder what else you can peel off,

you get a reminder to go for a run.

You get a reminder to slow down.

You take a walk, feel the bright sun, and notice the silver-white frost still furring the shade.

Just when you don’t know what to do next,
your neighbor says, “Pulled pork for dinner—with stuffed jalapenos and beer?”

Just when you are cursing this month and wishing again that you could jump ahead to January,
you get a message from a friend. “It’s December. How are you?”

Just when the darkness is settling,
the lights on the tree you did put up, joyfully, thoughtfully
with the stories of each ornament,
glimmer and set the room aglow.

Sometimes, just when, you need help, a hand, a smile, it comes.