A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas
|Photo credit: miketrask.com|
ONE CHRISTMAS IN THE EARLY 5O’S
I sat with my nose pressed
against the frosty kitchen window,
staring hard into the black starry sky
looking for snowflakes,
searching for Santa in his sleigh,
straining to see a tiny red light
that might be the tip of Rudolph’s nose.
Mommy said Santa wouldn’t come
until I went to sleep,
so I put on new flannel pajamas
trimmed with red piping,
and went to bed.
I heard noises, elfin noises?
Kneeling on my bed,
peering out the window,
I spied my father
dragging evergreens from the car.
Soon I heard Mommy, Daddy,
Aunt Carol and Uncle Fred whispering,
heard them rustling around
moving things, the buzz of a drill.
I worried that the commotion
would keep Santa away,
but soon my eyes wouldn’t stay open.
I awoke very early
and roused Carol and Frankie.
We tiptoed downstairs
where we were dazzled by a fir
decorated with big bright bulbs
and bubbling candle lights,
shiny glass balls,
silvery tinsel shimmering
reflections in the glow,
and a glittering star way up on top.
Aunt Carol was curled on the sofa,
Uncle Fred lay snoring
in an overstuffed chair.
Beneath the tree was not
the perky Toni I prayed for
and asked Santa to bring
when I sat on his lap at Quackenbush’s,
but a different yellow-haired doll
with little pink curlers,
an oversized tricycle
with a fresh coat of chartreuse
and a Chinese Checkers game.
My sock, bursting with candy,
hung from a cardboard fireplace
covered with red brick printed paper.
Soon our aunt and uncle awoke,
then Mommy and Daddy.
We were told Daddy
had taken the last scrawny pines
from an abandoned tree lot
after his night shift at Wright’s.
He and Uncle Fred drilled holes
into the trunk of the best,
fitted in branches from others.
They stood it on a stand
with Daddy’s old green Lionels
Carol and I bundled and walked
to Mass at St. Bonaventure’s,
leaving our new toys behind.
When we got home,
there were sausage and eggs,
a stollen coated with powdery sugar,
filled with tiny pieces
of red, green and yellow fruit,
(which we picked out),
and mugs of rich steamy cocoa,
with a big Campfire marshmallow
melting and bobbing on top.
Tonight's reading at the Montclair Library featured several poets, including myself. It was a fine array of poets with diverse voices reading on many interesting subjects as well as poems of the holiday season.
Mark your calendar: The next event will take place Saturday, December 17th, 7 p.m., at the ANT Bookstore & Cafe, 345 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ. I will be joined by two poet/friends, Pastor EJ Emerson and Sister Jane Abeln, SMIC. Holiday music will be provided by Victoria Warne, Peter DiBella, Rikki Woods and Lidya Diaz. An open mic period will follow. Come, enjoy the festivities and the Christmas cookies, too! James Gwyn and Victoria Warne host this popular event, the third Saturday evening of each month.
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