for Shirley Ann Sidman Hogan
Shirley descends the stairs into the living room
riding in a sleigh of snowflakes and bows
from head to toe.
Her gown sparkles with the light of her smile.
Her date in his stiff tuxedo stands below,
hanging onto the newel post so as not to be
carried away in her drifts.
The front door thrown open they haul the sleigh
into the gathering winds of the night
and glide off together.

From behind the chair in the corner of the living room,
I emerge to climb the stairs—the steps
bare of any glitter now—
and walk through my bedroom to the window,
open it, and pull myself out onto the bare
limb of my tree where I linger

and then lunge toward a star
that will love me.