You know, this is an absolutely stunning and beautiful piece of poetry, especially given the context of the time and atmosphere in which it was written. Shame on any ignorant moron who would vote it any less than 9. Shame.
Elin Grimes, thanks for reading and for your kind words. As to the last line, the human body is sometimes referred to as one's clay. So, for the clay of the one dead to be swinging, this would have been a suicide by hanging. I lived in the house he killed himself in that Christmas, and it was disturbing to say the least. It was an unquiet house and his presence still lurked, weighed with the cold gray weight of what he had done and its affect on the lives around him. I have another poem by the same title, written a few years later, that sharply contrasts with this one, but which is also unconventional for a Christmas poem. But I can't share links. Just google A christmas poem 2007 Zahhar (without the quotations) and it should be the second link that shows up. As to talent, no, not me. Anything I've learned how to do with words is the result of years worth of study and hard work. There was little to no raw talent involved when I got started.
Ramesh T A, thanks for stopping by. Congratulations once more on your prize in demagogic mediocrity. Christmas is for many people a very, very difficult time, especially with regards to tragedies such as suicides in the family, a father's suicide- Two father's suicides. This poem draws from two such events, decades apart, and ties them together. A lot is left open to interpretation, which is to my mind an important aspect of the art. You may find my response to Grimes, above, of interest.
Thanks again Wahab Abdul. I spent a couple of years exploring the villanelle and related art forms. Very challenging to wrap my brain around, but very rewarding in terms of the skills developed and sustained through learning to make such a difficult form come to life.