Poem: Not Exactly the Same

Not Exactly the Same

No, I did not stay awake until the witching hour.
I missed the ball falling, Auld Ang Syne.
Missed the music and drunken debauchery,
missed the kiss under the mistletoe
and the crawling into bed too late.

I did not miss the hung over waking.
There were no new demons to greet me in the morning,
just a comfortable back and forth with the older,
more familiar one, almost friends with their complaints,
a laugh, almost, at the old battles,
as if they still had meaning, and were not
merely a holdover from another life.

I did not miss anything of the old year
and am happy enough to see what the new one brings,
in no hurry to change a life I am mostly comfortable with.
Ready to make incremental changes, mostly unseen.
A little more of this, A little less of that.
Here and there a bit of exploration.
New books and new places, just a little

light, enough to light my own spot,
and perhaps draw others into an intimacy
late in their own nights,
comfortable in making my prayers so,
and not crying when they are not,
watching my own progression but not
with too much attention. preferring
the conversations of others to my own.

I am always surprised, each new year
as I sip a small glass of my precious bourbon
in the steaming tub, thinking, remembering
at what HAS been accomplished,
what has evolved. In the midst of it all,
it feels like I have moved nowhere,
but stop, picking a date – It does not have to be New Year’s,
Any date will do, but pick one
and soak yourself into a blissful relaxation
and realize how much of you is new.

New love. A new faith. Art and words.
Some erosion, some building up,
new friends and some drifting away.
Nothing as same as it appears,
even when. from a distance, it looks
exactly, precisely the same

About this poem

A New Year’s Poem.

The picture was taken at the Vanderbilt Mansion on the Hudson River.


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