New Year’s Eve

February 10, 2011
Richard M. Berlin, MD

Volume 28, Issue 1

Richard Berlin,M.D.: “There is something about the condensed pressure of poetry that feels very natural to me.”

At dawn, gray clouds hold the promise

of snow, and by dusk, all the world’s flaws

lay buried and concealed. One more patient

stomps up my narrow stairs and shakes off

his white mantle like an old workhorse,

relieved to be back in the barn, our session

ending with Happy New Year! And I turn down

the heat, lock my files, and enter the drifts,

knee-deep and alone, a string of blue bulbs

framing the bistro’s bay window, streetlamps

still dressed in red Christmas ribbons,

ice devils dancing down rooftops, their crystals

stinging my cheeks and melting into tears.

I’m making a house call before the world breaks

into party, my best friend alone and waiting,

his year filled with blood tests and bone mets,

a bottle of champagne resting outside his door,

absorbing the cold, waiting to burst open.