Three houses

Three houses,
side-by-side,
savoring sweet slumber
in the clear cold night.

To the north,
a wide rambler.
Warm-white lights
line windows.
A bright star
shines centered
between the garage door
and the pitched-roof peak.

To the south,
a suburban split-level.
Bulbs blinking
red and then green
in the front-room window.
Multicolored lights
on an ornamented tree
announce joy to its neighbors.

In the center,
a solitary fake flame
casts red-gold shadows
on the lonely front door
of a forlorn bungalow.

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