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The Gist

We thought we wanted something cuddly,
or at the very least, transparent.
But everything has a bit of murk about it
these days, especially at this time of year.

The box Carol is standing catty-corner to
may contain an antidote to your particular disease,
or it may contain nothing at all.
Better stick with the stuffed partridge,

which can always serve as a token. No one
will ask you for what, or why its feet are
painted that “strange” color.

It comes in spurts, not unlike the tide,
which also comes. And goes of course,
as if it can’t make up its mind. It
would all be so much simpler if we knew

the gist, or had an inkling, or understood
the local patois. It’s bad enough having
all these unwanted children in our midst,
and forgetting the remedies and melodies

of our youth.