Monday, December 23, 2013

Rosemarie Keenan


Deck the halls
Midnight to six
Last downtown department store
Twelve-man crew

String giant ornaments from the ceilings
Wrap lights around every pillar
Throw up walls for Santa's workshop
Get it all in place before
They start lining up

Four hundred yards of garland
Hung under the watchful eye
of the foreman
Devon slipped off
Not to the can, like I told the boss
But to Fine Jewelry
And Better Watches

These old stores are something
Windows made for 8-foot wreaths
Merchandise in drawers
With locks from 1924

Gerald So reads "Holiday Hours":

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Rosemarie confesses: "When I was little my father worked at a department store. One November, very late, after the store had closed, he took me for a tour of the Santaland he'd helped install. Ever since I've wondered about a store's life once the customers are gone."

ROSEMARIE KEENAN, with her husband and writing partner, Vince Keenan, is a 2013 Winner of the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers which they won for their novel, Design for Dying. She lives in Seattle, where she is a research administrator.

1 comment:

Stevie Cenko said...

A tricky, Christmas poem. Nice surprise ending, Rosemarie.