I wrote this in the late 1980s. Even though it is not a happy poem, it is one of my favorites.
City sidewalks filled with holiday color,
silver bells, red and green lights.
Soon it will be Christmas Day.
A final holiday toast at work, then
dashing through the slow
traffic, heading for one more open mall,
frazzled, but cheerful last-minute shoppers
make the last stop before
an evening with loved ones at home.
City streets are now deserted except for a few
for whom the color of Christmas is blue.
No one stops. No loved one's shopped
for the one who has no home.
No toasting, no chesnuts roasting, no open fire,
Jack Frost nips at his nose,
toes and fingers. Out in the street
Jack Daniels' brown liquid provides
little warmth. No heat.
In the hours before it turns Christmas,
blue mood turns to blue skin.
The blue uniform and flashing red lights
arrive too late.
And all the world's gold and green
can't color this one's holiday scene.
The man in the red suit passed through this morn,
but no one in black mourned
the lone man's passing.
And amidst the gleeful noise
of girls and boys and clanging toys,
no one dressed in new shades
of purple, teal and clay
noticed the Christmas sky was gray.