Shop owners reeve thin twine through Yuletide wreaths
of pine and holly, bejeweled with white night
lights and perched on street posts for a few brief
weeks. Locals listen to Bing Crosby’s "White
Christmas" careen down carless downtown streets
through tinny, town-hall speakers.
Traffic lights blink at unabashed black-backed gulls who eat
discarded shards of saltwater taffy
dropped by tired toddlers. Fat Santas greet elfin children.
Winter winds blow chaffy
sand from nearby bay and beach, as shoppers
seek shelter in the mom-and-pop coffee
shop, or church with spires of green copper.
Sweeder writes from Ocean City.