Dust dances in December`s dreary light

up in the attic where the mice, at night,

are heard to chase, claws scrabbling on the floor

and scratching at the chest whose stiff-joint jaw

yawns with a creak as rusty locks snap back 

and children lift its lid to seek a sack

of rough, red cloth that bulges, clinks within,

and smells of pine leaves - sharper than a pin

on fumbling fingers.   In the darkening room

a thrill of tinsel spills into the gloom.

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