Cider Scent

The neighbors' Christmas lights dance around their bushes, front porches, and entryways. The full moon shines through the trees. Everyone is indoors. The street lies empty.

I park the car. Enter the house. Throw off my shoes. Look inside the refrigerator and stare. Pop a frozen dinner in the microwave. Go to my room. Open the window.

across the street
the bougainvillea flashes
on and off

The microwave buzzer goes off. Sort through the mail while eating dinner. Bills, store catalogs, a Christmas card addressed in gold letters. Rip it open.

season's greetings
from the mortgage company

Turn on the TV. Flip channels. Nothing but news, Christmas shows and commercials. Check the answering machine. Two messages, one from the cleaners, the other from the dentist's office.

bubble bath
spiking the water
with apple cider scent

Wrap myself in flannel pajamas. Take the catalogs and some chamomile tea to bed. The cat emerges from the closet and joins me on the bed.

train whistle
growing louder
into the night

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