Normally, we celebrate the holidays,
exchanging gifts, delighting each other
with the latest gadgets. Normally,
we believe in how life always improves,
gets more convenient, easier to live.
Normally, we don’t’ hunker down.
Normally, we don’t have occasion
to use that phrase—hunker down.
Normally, we replace the windows,
rebuild that demolished interior wall.
Normally, we have work to do, relatives
haven’t vanished, and friends haven’t fled.
Normally, the toilet tank refills.
Normally, we change our clothes.
William Aarnes has published two collections with Ninety-Six PressLearning to Dance (1991) and Predicaments (2001)—and a third collection, Do in Dour, from Aldrich Press (2016). His work has appeared in such magazines as Poetry, FIELD, and Red Savina Review.