Category Archives: Christmas

Jack-o’-lanterns

Two plastic jack-o’-lanterns

From the Halloween two months ago

Face each other on the coffee table.

 

I did not put them out then,

To invite the little princesses and goblins to visit.

They sat inside where they sit now.

 

I have not touched them since I bought them.

Why haven’t I put them away?

I pass them many times a day.

 

I look at them.

And berate myself.

“It is no longer Halloween.

It is almost Christmas,

Why won’t you put them up?

They don’t belong here!”

 

My shoes have grown roots.

I can no longer pass.

I stare, transfixed at the sagging shapes

In muted orange.

 

They watch each other as I watch them,

Unable to move.

Unable to welcome others or

Give curious happiness

For a moment or two.

 


I Sleep in Green Grinch Boxers 081019

I sleep in green Grinch boxers,

Ten years old.

They are more of a suggestion

Than an actual covering.

I don’t know why I still keep them,

Oh yes, I do!

 

I lay in bed

Jiggling my belly

Trying to make it

Make those weird

Gurgling noises.

Then I gurgle back

As if we are talking about

The weather.

 

I fart.

I belch.

I scratch with reckless abandon.

 

Within the last month,

A friend lost her father.

A friend lost his wife.

A friend lost her daughter.

A friend lost her life.

 

Life gives us the opportunity

To laugh at ourselves.

And celebrate our stupidity.

We are way too serious

After we are gone.

 


A Jar of Macadamia Nuts

“Things aren’t important.

Things are important.

Does that make sense?”

 

She stood before me

In the supermarket.

A friend, I haven’t seen in over a year.

A disease that is slowly melting her cartilage away.

She smiled joyfully at me,

In front of the shredded cheese.

Her happiness had nothing to do with the cheese.

I hope.

 

“I think so.” I replied.

“Big things aren’t important.

Small things are.”

 

Her smile continued.

“Yes last year I couldn’t stand.

I might have to have surgery to fuse my spine.

I won’t be able to move my head ever again.”

 

I said, “Like this?”

Slowly moving my back, neck, and head from side to side as one

Imagining what life would be like,

Like a naive child learning about homeless for the first time.

 

“Yes,” she said.

We stood, for a moment, in silence as the Friday shoppers passed us,

In a frenzied passion,

As if the three for two special

Held the meaning of life

Or the riches of Solomon.

 

“You look well,” I said and I meant it.

In fact, she looked beautiful,

With a knowledge and understanding

That few possess.

 

 

“Thanks,” she smiled again.

Her eyes closed as discomfort from her condition took hold of her.

“I can only get around now for small amounts of time

And I’m about done.”

 

I noticed a jar of Macadamia nuts in her hand

And looked around for her cart.

“Is you cart somewhere?”

 

No, this is all I came for.”

I looked confused

So she continued,

“Last year I couldn’t stand,

I couldn’t clean.

I couldn’t be the mother

I wanted to be.

Everything I thought I once was,

I wasn’t.

I couldn’t even bake.

I love baking.

For now,

At this moment,

I can do things,

Small things,

Simple things.

Today I can bake cookies.”

She looked at the jar in her hand

And smiled sadly.

“Today I can bake,

Silly really.”

 

Not silly at all.


Love is like Christmas 11/16/16

 

Love is like Christmas

The smell of freshly

Baked ginger cookies

From grandma’s kitchen

The brightly lit homes

Filled with welcomes welcome

The beautifully decorated tree

Holding gently

Memories of a lifetime,

Ornaments passed from

Generation to generation,

From friend to friend.

 

I walk down the quiet street,

Listening to the holiday parties

The Laughter,

The stories

Of good times past

And memories of good friend passed.

Their lives continue

In the retelling of traditions

And of recipes recreated.

 

I walk down the happy street

Where tomorrow morning

Children will rise,

Jumping on their parent’s bed

Gleefully yelling,

Santa was here, Santa was here.

The living room will soon be filled with

Mountains of discarded wrapping paper and

The laughter of children

As they test the warranties of their gifts.

 

I stop outside my home.

The darkened rooms.

There is no smell of cookies.

No tree with brightly

Wrapped presents beneath.

 

Love is like Christmas for me.

Never had it, never will.

And the expectation every year,

Of what Santa will bring,

Of what love will bring,

Makes my home a prison,

Sentenced to my gloomy rooms,

Waiting for release.

I walk away from my prison cell

To a darker corner of my town.

 

Mrs. Wilson’s husband passed.

It is the first Christmas without him.

Their only son died in Vietnam

So very long ago.

She sits alone with a scrapbook,

And smiles with tears in her eyes.

 

Mr. Paneer’s wife left him,

Along with the kids.

She always trimmed the tree.

He didn’t buy one this year.

He wouldn’t, he couldn’t.

He drinks another round while

Looking into the empty corner.

 

Mr. Murry died last fall.

His house is dark.

A For Sale sign sits out front.

And that is all that is left of Mr. Murry.

 

I stopped.

A light snow falling down,

Seemed to glisten in the streetlight’s glow.

Dancing, dancing,

Slowly falling.

I held my hand out.

A snowflake landed in my palm

A moment before melting.

Love is like Christmas,

Like Christmas indeed.