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

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.

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