Saddle-sore from sleepless nights
Spent upright and resentful
In way stations and overflowing inns.
To those who have endured
The rituals of forced familiarity,
Feigning surprise and joy
While harboring their opposites.
To those who feel the sting
Seeing long-worn patterns
Resurrected, not resisted.
To those who hate the sound
Of bells and Auld Lang Syne,
Whose stomachs turn
At just the smell of douglas fir.
Congratulations – you survived.
The gifts you brought were
Less important than your presence,
As you will one day understand.
Tonight, go safely home, another way.