Poems of Christmas

Driving Towards Muskegon On Christmas Eve

Pennsylvania's mountains drop into Ohio's smooth lap. The turnpike forges westward - no promise of land or gold. Michigan is hours away on this gray Christmas Eve day. The eggs and ham in Cleveland taste like all American breakfasts at lit-up truckstops where tinsel's wrapped 'round the clock. After the Maumee River, the lowlands that have never had a hilly thought unfold under a flannel of snow. The heater hums at full tilt as flakes rush the windshield. From the town of Ann Arbor comes the gift of a choir singing "Messiah" through snow, right into the radio. "Good tidings to Zion" and Lansing, Grand Rapids, Marne. "His yoke is easy," they sing; at last we reach Muskegon. The Big Lake grips two freighters. Icy roads make us later than we'd promised to arrive, but in a field, up the drive waits a house - a calm beacon filled with those we can count on. The night is sprinkled with stars; the journey doesn't seem so far.

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