Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

30
Dec
09

Early Discarded

Halfway to the bottom of the dumpster I lie- a bodyless teddy bear.
My head rent from my body by a display of excessive love and possessiveness-
Where was Solomon when my ownership was being disputed?
A poorly marked gift, a fight broke out, I felt a wrenching pain then there were tears all around.
Sure, attempts were made to repair me but while some hurt feelings can be easily mended little bears sometimes cannot.
Father provided distraction in the form of a jolly board game,
While Mother disposed of the disturbing evidence;
That would be me.
Santa promised a little girl would love me and so briefly I held the attention of two.
Who could have predicted I’d be spending Christmas night here among the torn wrappings, coffee grounds, and dozens of walnut shells?

25
Dec
09

Scrooge Was Right After All

I’ll keep Christmas in my way and let you keep it in yours.
Not for me the jostle of crowds, the tinnily amplified renditions of carols in the malls;
Mothers- patience nearly exhausted- tucking frazzled hair behind one ear
As she herds children ahead of her, children bawling and bleating for toys, for treats, for a nap, for one more ride on the mechanical horse and then they promise to be good;
Drivers, once mostly fathers but now mothers too, neck stiff and eyes straining as they pilot the car and its sleeping passengers through rain or snow and darkness and endless hours on the highways and byways, tossing a couple quarters into the jar for a cup of coffee, a chocolate chip cookie, a chance to stretch road-numbed legs;
The clatter and clink of silverware and china at brunch, starched white tablecloths quickly ruined by a mimosa, a Bloody Mary, or an elbow ill-placed in the cup of much needed Irish Coffee;
Mistletoe hanging above Abe Lincoln on Main Street- am I imagining having seen it? How appropriate the old scholar should get the affection now he so often vainly craved when alive;
Hawkish east wind swooping down reminds me of the damage time has done to my body- the twisted ankle I thought was healed, once frostbitten toes, calcification and arthritis developing between shoulder and neck- and that I’m much too old on the outside to wait to shower acclaim on Santa when he appears at the end of the parade;
Give me instead a Snuggie’s warmth and a hot mug of coffee to wrap in my chilled hands;
Her tongue poking out at one corner of her mouth, a child struggles to turn felt, Elmer’s glue and a tomato soup can into an attractive present;
Mapley, pineappley hiss and pop of the ham in the oven beside the baking potatoes and the yams;
A cyclical rainbow of primary and secondary colors transforming the old aluminim tree in the corner from a misshapen agglutination of foil to sparkling centerpiece in a child’s half-remembered Christmas dreams;
And the thrumming joy of the cat getting stoned on the catnip infused scratching post we bought to save the loveseat.

24
Dec
09

Work In Progress

The wind stung our cheeks and levered crystals of moisture from our tear ducts. Aaron grabbed my hand and dragged me, my thick feet stumbling, into the last remaining full-length phone booth. He shouted over the gale threatening our sanctuary, “Think of something sad.”
“Like what?”
“Think of Albert. Think of him dumping the box of Legos on Christmas morning. Surveying his new-built city and strutting like an emperor. And we’ll never see him.”
The tears surprisingly swift and sweet in the warmth they brought to the surface, coursed down my cheeks. I felt my face thaw and then sag as if I were melting. I rubbed my face on Aaron’s scarf and the earthy scent of the wool tickled my nose.
“You’re right,” I said into his neck, my words chipped, sharp. “That’s why I can’t forgive you.”

25
Jan
09

Like Christmas

Nina went right up and over the fence.
While I was dithering,
Using a broom and rake as improvised tongs,
Not wanting to set a bad example-
The children hadn’t climbed THAT yet-
She was up and then down.
A moment’s pause to massage the tender parts of her that met the pointy parts of the fence
And she was there beside K’Sean’s boot.
It was the linchpin in a chain of inevitable actions:
K’Sean’s boot falls off
Russell grabs it and runs
A teacher gives chase
The boot is thrown to an almost inaccessible location.
Standing in a pile of similarly fated toys,
She picked up K’Sean’s boot and handed it over the fence.
“Can I have that pink bucket?” Chaylia said.
“Sure. What else do you want?”
They all started shouting out toys.
As fast as they named it, Nina scooped it up and tossed it over the fence.
Toys were flying through the air; It looked like Christmas.
“Say ‘thank you’. Say ‘thank you’,” I bawled; Some did.
Then, except for an old sock, Nina was alone
Surrounded by the fence
Surrounded by the playground of children gleefully discovering their old toys.