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An advent calendar of poetry: December 19

Halifax poet laureate Sue Goyette delivers her nineteenth daily poem between now and Winter Solstice.

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Editor's Note: Each day from December 1 -21, Halifax' poet laureate Sue Goyette will write a new poem to share with the city on The Coast's website and social media. "If I need this, I bet other people need this," she told us on day one—and we think she's right. In a year that's felt like a months-long dusk, this will be some light we can carry forward, together, until the days begin to grow again.
Here is her poem for December 19:

I heard of how a couple of people, unprepared for the avalanche, began to walk not knowing what else to do. They eventually came across a small hut and, inside, they found blankets, some food, a small heater. The things they found are sometimes different. I hear myself add books, candles. It doesn’t matter. The hut is the heart of the story. It was unlocked and unexpected. The dark is fifteen hours long now. It’s a keen hunter and follows a sure river. Its pelt is thick, its eyes planetary. It feasts on our dreams like candy. Last night I offered it a ladder placed at a high angle climbed by someone I am terrified of. In return it lit thorns to help me see past myself so when that person opened my window, I knew to kick at the ladder. This darkness knows our thorns are the keys that unlock us. We are the widest territory it covers. In the hut there's a chair, a good sweater. A brief and startling reunion with our dead. That crease of smile. Their voice. This is what it is carrying for us. In the scant days, it rests.

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