It’s January and plastic Santa still plays his golden sax outside a store on Jinhuapu Lu. His mechanized twiggy legs are barely hid as they twitch in tandem in his thin flannel pants— Christmas red, of course, and his lips as brown as tofu hang a full two inches behind the sax’s cracked reed. Poor man! Even the dogs— Pekingese, Chihuahuas and others— step around him as they snuffle for a swatch of sun to jazz their bones on this cold day.
At year’s end, when all is sad and done in, we gasp as clouds of smoke appear. But it’s only the yews spewing pollen, outdoing chimneys as if it were spring. That and speech about Mideast peace as juncos reseed themselves, the Christmas rose flops open to cold, and Barney the cat perfects his new trick—he unbars our door.
He stares. (He prefers indoors.) But right there’s the morning star, just like the chorale’s. And up close, trouble— a pup hunting kibble and warmth. And there’s more. Mt. Rainier shows up in pink and blue bunting. So clear. Such fresh-powder glory. The sleepy volcano seems suddenly haloed, huge, and near. So much for our little stable.