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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM HAZEL

December Journal

Thoughts of family, belonging, and boundary

The rain falls easy thick on the last day of December. I am warmed with coffee and the company of family. All of my family stretched beside in the comfortable way love resides. She is everything I have and know and want and cherish and need. And though I am without blood, I am not without love. And this is all that matters.

Thoughts sip of a time that once was home. And it seems mirage in horizon. Rippled heat distorted in color and shape. Polaroids of childhood pulled from deepening pockets continue changing hue and condition of fade. The clearest images are with Mother in the kitchen during Christmas. Shaping and baking templates of trees, stars, men of ginger and snow.

attic boxes worn

color coated branches old

family tree lights dull

speaker scratches sharp

Guaraldi and Vivaldi

holidays play long

boxes of childhood

color matched paper neat stacked

needs neat unwrapped neath

Still hear you laughing

snickerdoodles burning

Bing Crosby yearning

for another

Irish coffee

your Irish laugh

whipped cream on top

of our world

at Christmas

Miss You


And she is of family, her parents my parents, her sister my sister. And the family without blood feels everything familiar. And the home that is not my home feels as home and the strangeness of this sensation I can only attribute to absence of street and structure that is my own. Was my own. There is always the knowing this family not of blood remains stronger than of blood.

December rushes

out the door

gotta run

gotta wrap

up a year

January lights

another cig

puts the

coffee on


The work family does not call itself family and I am glad for this. Past employers who called me family always dysfunctional disasters rooted in shallow soil. We call ourselves a Team at my current workplace, but this, too, is far from genuine. I have been on Teams. We wore the same clothes, arrived early together, left late together, and shared a distinctly common purpose.

And the Team that isn’t a Team, that isn’t a family, still must be something. Must have some more appropriate definition I am unable to render. I am thankful to maintain special relationships with co-workers. To have special friendships with past co-workers. To develop relationships so close as to be interpreted as family. Though not of blood, still feel as brother or sister. Again, there seems no proper noun for the friend who feels as family.

three thirty

and five

the patter

of rain

a siren's cry

cold milk

in a cup

sitting up

wondering why

Community is another word. A vague expression of the familial. I am with a writing community. Scribblers, storytellers, poets, and creatives trying to connect through our words. We find each other in the scroll, a demagogue deciding how we will interact on a particular platform. The paradox of the scroll community being the less time you spend, the closer connections develop. The scroll allows me connection with souls from around the world and I think all of us should know others from around the world. It is sometimes a difficult place as there are no walls. No boundaries. No definition of what is true or false.

I thought about boundaries this month, picking up the stretch of rotting fence that gave to a powerful west gale. I brought wood and nails and stood the boundary again. The patchwork is slight and temporary, and I think of more wind to come. A new fence must be built. A new boundary. A new definition of edges. Of whom is allowed to enter and who is not. Of whom is family. I will tend to this boundary.

The rain falls easy thick on the last day of December. I am warmed with coffee and the company of family. All of my family stretched beside in the comfortable way love resides.

© Copyright William Hazel, 2022

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