Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Poem for You

Wishing my SharingwithWriters subscribers and visitors a Merry Christmas. I thought you might enjoy this poem from the award-winning Christmas chapbook coauthored by Magdalena Ball and me as a kind of Christmas card-blog. Kind of light. Kind of nostalgic.


 

This is how it is, once, a half-lifetime

ago. The house comes alive at five

when kids too excited

to sleep noisily poke holes in

paper gift wrap, emit muffled giggles,

finally come to pull us (yawning)

out of bed. Later they begin to doubt,

hang out in the dark to prove

Santa a myth, fall asleep on the hearth.

When they’re teens the house
sleeps till ten. We eat breakfast late

then have a go at the gifts.

When they’re in college, Christmas

is a surprise package. One year an assortment

of boys’ cars—Porsches, hot rods,

clunkers—clutter the driveway. Terry

drops in with Swedish potato sausage

pungent with onions he pulverized

with an old-fashioned meat grinder.

Or the kids are all studying in France

or upstate. So, maybe a movie for

Dad and me at three. Schedules so erratic

one year I decide not to put up our one

unshakable tradition, a tree

that pushes its star to the top

of our fourteen-foot vaulted

ceiling. That was enough to roust

my son out of his dorm, hit crosstown

traffic with a huge blue fir roped

to the top of his Volkswagen. Measuring

the size of it with an upward wave

of his hand. A bargain he says. Nobody

wants to decorate this much tree

on Christmas Eve. He relishes

the joke as he pulls fragile garlands

and heirloom ornaments from their boxes

knowing that will sure enough roust

me out of my lounger to supervise.

 

That was then. These days we may celebrate

a couple of days before the twenty-fifth, or after,

on bastard dates left over from when others

have laid their claim on our progeny.

A new spurt of Christmas energy may arrive

in the great grandchildren generation

when we’ll be awarded honorary status,

but this spate of Christmases—call it the slow

decade—a new gift as miraculous

as a fat guy coming down the chimney.

The whole day. To think. To Write.

Uninterrupted.

 

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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