To Hestia the Giving, or, What Hill to Die On

It seems so strange for me to say
I am alone on Christmas Day.
I must delay my gift exchange
till evening. And till then I pray:

Bright Hestia, am I alone?
Please say I’m not, please say You’re here,
in electric candle if not hearth stone.
O Giving One, please say You’re near.

Christmastime is a time of giving,
a time for family, time for living
our most central values—though
there are many who’ll say no,

we are not who we are,
we must be as they will,
even as they also say
that we must follow our own star,
and we’ll die someday—choose a hill.

Well, this is mine, so home I’m not,
though my sisters come tonight,
to the place that any other day
I call my home, by my invite.

Bright Hestia, are You here?
Where no flame burns, no incense lit,
for fear another asthma fit?
Where the altar-keeper’s queer?

Usually I do not doubt
that You care for me as I am.
But after my family’s fallout—

Well, goddamn.

Family, home together tied—
I can’t take this all in stride—

Bright Hestia, please say You’re here.
O Giving One, please say You’re near.

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