Poetry by Jamie McKenzie

Home for the Holidays

The day was grey stone December cold
Two welfare hotels unmarked
Uninviting and unnoticed
The Woodstock and Diplomat
With "No Vacancy" signs
And waiting lists

Next door - The University Club
The Beggar's Feast
Around the block - The Algonquin Rose Room
The Grace Plaza

A Christmas tree lay
An apparent corpse
Cut down early in life
Shrink-wrapped for cartage
Dropped at the door
To stand tall
At least through the holiday season
Fully decked
One final time

The Woodstock lobby
Once regal and full of bustling
World travelers
Art dealers
And oriental carpets
Is linoleum bare
Hung with pink mimeographs
Pay wall phone
Corner coke machine
19th Century oak moldings
Too high to reach

The Algonquin lobby
Awaiting its tree
Boasts wreaths and bows
Poinsettias on tables
Chatting clusters of bookish types
Voyeur suburban tourists
And one old man from the Woodstock

© Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.

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