They Come

All around me they soar
Dipping and diving and buzzing so near I can smell them
Musty… like an old church basement
Or my grandparents’ closet
Or an attic long forgotten

I plead with them to fly away
To give me just a little peace
But I can hear their faint laughter
Like so many times before
As they settle in for a long winter

“Make your lists,” they say.
“Drink your drinks.”
We’ll be right over here…
Watching and waiting…
Getting comfortable again

I look to the sky and call for the sun
But my voice is eaten up by the clouds
I breathe deeply and close my eyes
But there they are again
Smiling those haunting smiles

“Keep moving,” I tell myself.
“There are things to do.”
And they mock me in a whisper
As I pretend not to notice
That another day is fading away

I try to remember when they first appeared
Was I nine? Or was I ten?
At first it was only a few of them
They played with my fingers
And painted smiles on my face

In my teens they talked of love and life
They made me laugh and dance
And sometimes even sing
But they also made me cry 
So I tried hard to push them away

But today… they came in droves
In all shapes and sizes
And it’s heavy and it’s hard
And I’m tired
And it’s Christmas

Tori Burris Inkley
12/20/20

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