wafts through the air just before midnight,
as my neighbor who is obviously well
past sober decides to ring in the New Year
as Garth Brooks, and I shake
my head in exasperation, hurry the dogs
into the house before they decide to howl
along with the next drunken refrain.
I know I am finally getting old,
a wine cooler and a few hours
of this generation’s Dick Clark
are my preferred partners for watching
the ball drop this year. Maybe I will
make a resolution to go out next year,
but I doubt it. My 4 a.m. homeward stumbles
and taxi-cabbed cookie tosses ended
years ago, and I realize I am glad
as the chime tolls a close on a dead year, and I
tuck myself into my comforter,
getting a head start on my decided promise
that this year I will get more
I Wrote a Poem at Midnight
this New Year’s Eve because I am superstitious
and I do not want to temp the fates that prophecy
what you are doing at midnight is what you will be
doing all year. Friends and family laugh, kiss
and clink drinks around me as I scribble.
The idea of a year without ink more terrifying
than an after-midnight car crash, and I am relieved
when the last stanza stands as scar
against the stark white of the page.
The muse of this past year has followed me
through the twelve welcoming chimes of the new.
A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and amazon.com. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com.