Dec. 25, 2019

Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
 
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Another reminder that you won’t be there.
 
The children are grown so they’re not in their beds
The office and guest room lay empty instead
 
While I’m in my kerchief you’re not in your cap
My chore list’s too crazy for long winter’s naps
 
When up in my brain there arose such a clatter,
I tossed and I turned and I wondered what mattered
 
Away to the past my mind went like a flash,
Tore open the memories of our Christmases past
 
The moon shining bright on your side of the bed
Your soft snoring gone; deadly silence instead
 
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
Not a miniature sleigh or eight tiny reindeer,
 
But a newsreel of images vivid and quick
Like you, dressed as Santa, to play old St. Nick.
 
More rapid than eagles the stories they came
I savored them each as I called them by name
 
The first Christmas morning our son held a box
Acting thrilled with each gift whether toys or just socks
 
Small plastic pieces without good directions
Two am battles with bikes still in sections
 
First babies, next toddlers, then boys with new bikes
On Christmas, on birthdays, you knew what we liked
 
From a Christmas tree wired to the living room wall
So a brave little boy climbing high didn’t fall
 
To working two jobs to buy shin guards and cleats
Driving miles to support both his wins and defeats
 
Your eyes how they twinkled, your laughter so merry
Now life here without you seems empty and scary
 
The beard on your chin that was sprinkled with snow
That waited till fifty before it would grow
 
In the blink of an eye you were gone like St. Nick
But remembering you here does a magical trick
 
The love that we shared and the life that we lead
Will remain safe and sound in my heart and my head
 
Though the pain and the joy are all mixed up together
Christmas memories with you can still last forever
 
I can just hear your voice as the tears cloud my sight
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night”