Sunday Stew: The New Year

by Paul Nelson

January 1 too old
to be hungover you
unwrap the new year
like a new stick of butter

hope you get it in
the dish at the right
angle and not scrape off
butter from the side of the top.

Up early if not awakened
by midnight fireworks which
could have been gunshots
you open up the new year

like you pop the top off
the half & half carton
don’t mind if she interrupts
from behind for new year

kisses on the back of
the neck, the first of seventy
or eighty this year as you shake off
bad dreams of losing half

your hair & start the coffee.
The last thing from the holiday
season to unwrap, maybe a
resolution or two, maybe it was

at the Episcopal burn bowl as
one of the last things of
last year which sounds
so old now, last year

losing ground in the rear
view mirror of the car
humans won’t be driving
in the great future.

Last year in the velocity
of our age where it all
must be young, new, improved
by citizens of a culture

screaming at the microwave
to hurry up, scanning the
pixeled headlines for the
latest get-rich-quick scam.

The new year, a baby
in cartoons. It’s going to be
a bad year for the world, says
José but good for us.

Paul Nelson is a Rainier Beach based poet