I Bought A Markdown Moose This Year

Across the Anacostia

Down the Pennsylvania

A hundred seabirds

Rising in the setting sun

White bellies and white feathers

Brilliant pink

Rise and flutter in the setting sun

Sparkling pink in setting sun

Sparkling rosy petals fly

Across the river,

Flecks of pink against the sky

Driving to DC

On Christmas Eve

Alone on Christmas Eve

Across the Anacostia.

Down the Pennsylvania

Big Dome in the distance

Rising in the setting sun

High and brilliant in the sky

Shimmering Dome against the sky

Curve of pink, sparkling pink

Sparkling pink against the sky

Slice of rose against the sky

Driving to DC

On Christmas Eve

Alone on Christmas Eve

Across the Anacostia

Down the Pennsylvania

On the way to feed my daughter’s cats.

(Oh, my, those happy cats!)

Heading home.

Stopping by the supermarket.

Swedish meatballs.

Tradition. (On it goes)

Never a lonely meatball

In any setting sun.

Supermarket pink sky pink glass

Sparkling pink windows

In the setting sun

And a big stuffed moose

A Markdown Moose

A Sad Old Moose

Fuzzy brown and four feet high

Big felt antlers (bendable)


Canted sideways in the aisle


Sideways in the aisles,

The last of Christmas plush

Losing his dignity,

Canted sideways in the aisle


Marked down on Christmas Eve

But still. . . with faith. . .

He looks me in the eye.

Not a pink moose.

Not a sparkling moose

No shimmering rose moose.

No sunset moose.

No powerful moose.

Just Markdown Moose, canted in the aisles


With faith,

On Christmas Eve

Oh, my, those Prime Discounts!

Markdown Moose,

Riding high

Rising high upon Shopping Cart

Gliding down the escalator

Riding High with Dignity

A King, Descending

(No rapists on the border, no)

(No spewing hate like green pus, no)

This Mighty Migrant Moose

Leaving Supermarketland

For Points Unknown

A refugee

Fleeing loss of dignity

Faith, the Migrant Moose

Faith, the DC Markdown Moose

Going home

Not alone

On Christmas Eve.

Last-minute shoppers laugh.

Markdown Migrant Moose

Riding high upon his shopping cart.

Aproned staff wave bye-bye

Cashiers salute


His Curtain Call.

His Grand Exit.

Stage Left

Into the Parking Lot

Into the Chariot Kia

Migrant Moose

Looking out the window

Down the Pennsylvania

Last of the sunset Red Dome Pennsylvania

Riding loud and proud

Across the Anacostia

Blood Red Bridge Blood Red Birds

Across the Anacostia

Leaving DC

Not Alone on Christmas Eve.


Sitting upright in the backseat

Staring frankly out the window

Smiling hard at stranger’s eyes

Nods to waving children

Applauds the passers-by

Waving to his minions from a

Balcony of stoplights.

Accolades of Christmas travelers:

Hats off to Faith!

Faith, The Markdown Moose!

Headlights behind me

On the highway.


Backseat Antler Silhouette!

Kia Chariot rocks and rolls

Down MD Five

Me and my Markdown Moose

Me and my Christmas Moose

Me singing Jingle Bells

As loudly as I can.

Roll the windows down!

Let in the cold!

Belting Jingle Bells into the night

Drowning out the fear

Drowning out the hopelessness

Chaos and uncertainty

The hard times coming: Straight Ahead.

Louder, louder

Have yourself a Merry Little Faith Moose

Next year our troubles may not all be out of sight

They may not be miles away

They may be just over the Anacostia

Just down the Pennsylvania

Still. . .

I sing Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Jingle all the way

Oh, my, is that a furry voice from the back seat?

Deep base.

Sounds a little fuzzy.

Doing the Ho Ho Ho’s,

Backup to my chorus

I know

I cannot will away the bad times.

I know

I cannot stop what’s going to be.

I can

Have Faith that we can make it through

I can

Have Faith that somehow, truth prevails

Faith that if not joy,

freedom will, in the end, prevail

Perhaps I have seen the best in my lifetime

Perhaps the best is behind me

And not ahead.

But having seen the best of times

I wish them for my grandsons

And children everywhere

The sad the lonely

the hungry and the frightened

I wish for them my best of times

Even a slice of the best of times, a sparkling slice against the sunset sky

I wish, I will,

There is a sparkling sky ahead.

Some will stand and tell me No.

But Faith the Markdown Moose — he says it’s so.


Up the stairs.

Assumes his place of honor

Framed by my picture window


And Mr. Cat

Writing a Christmas Poem about a Markdown Moose.

Silly old cat. Silly old goose.

I can hear it now.

Why? Why? The kids will ask.

Has Mom lost her mind?

Why would she buy

A fuzzy markdown moose

Four-foot moose with felt (bendable) antlers?

I’ll tell them why:

Driving across the Anacostia

I see beyond

The pink: The Blood Red Birds,

Leaving the river for parts unknown.

Down the Pennsylvania

I see beyond

The pink: The Blood Red Dome

Leading our country toward parts unknown.

Awash with fear and sadness

From the ever-present question:

Will this be the last good year?

Oh, my, no, I’ll tell them why:

Same reason I buy bulbs and plant them in the dead of winter.

I intend to see them bloom in early spring.

Same reason I plant tomatoes in the early spring.

I intend to eat them in the hot and sweaty days of August

I intend to have their juices running down my chin


The hot and muggy days of August.

I intend to be there.

Pick them. Eat them.

Sticky chin

Same as every year.

Bulbs. Basil. Markdown Moose

Hedge my bets.

Betting this is not the last Christmas.

And that next spring

I will see daffodils rise in the tree pits of Brooklyn

I will see ice cream trucks sprout like daffodils on every corner.

Bulbs. Basil. Moose.

Proof of faith.

Proof of hope. Proof.

We’ll see this chaos through

My grandsons will grow old and strong

Their backs will not be broken

Their hearts will not be savaged

And somehow peace prevails

This fragile peace prevails

Even if, maybe only, in the end,


For we have

Faith, the evidence of things not seen.

Sparkling faith, and sparkling pink,

And fuzzy brown

Across the Anacostia

And down the Pennsylvania

On Christmas Eve.

Cats are sleeping

Kids are calling

Moose is smiling

Santa’s on Norad

Fast approaching.

Pink dome sparkling.

Pink birds flying

High and sparkling in the sky

Sparkling across the Anacostia

Sparkling down the Pennsylvania.

On Christmas Eve.

I bought a Markdown Moose this year.

His name is Faith

And all is well.

And all is well.



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