An advent calendar of poetry: December 16

Halifax poet laureate Sue Goyette delivers her sixteenth daily poem between now and Winter Solstice.

Editor's Note: Each day from December 1 -21, Halifax' poet laureate Sue Goyette will write a new poem to share with the city on The Coast's website and social media. "If I need this, I bet other people need this," she told us on day one—and we think she's right. In a year that's felt like a months-long dusk, this will be some light we can carry forward, together, until the days begin to grow again.
Here is her poem for December 16:

There is a day, each December, that requests to hear Joni Mitchell sing "River". Depending on the year, it may request a repeat. Or several. There is a limit; I’ve learned there is only so much a body can hold. Joni rivers a longing that is tributary for all longing. Potent in a month of a new and sudden darkness. And the request this day of all Decembers is making is specific. It wants to hear Joni in her 77-year-old glory sing it because it’s missing the amaryllis beak of aging women who’ve insisted time to put on a little lipstick. Who know a thing or two about frozen rivers and the plants beneath, pushed up close for the sun. Who have lived that pushed up close and under long enough. There aren’t many grandmothers in this December. The sweet and salty bundle of them making their way through another winter. If the voice makes a pilgrimage through the heart before it’s let loose through lips then December 16th wants to hear an eon of heart syrup in the low notes, in the breath before the plunge. Not to leave but to fly. 

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

The Coast Daily email newsletter is your extra dose of the city Monday through Friday. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.


Recent Comments