The Holy Family? In a box with the angels upstairs
Shepherds? In search of their sheep lost in newspaper
Somehow I sit on a bag... of glass Christmas ***** “Must get my vacuum!” That dead animal, coated by dust and buried in laundry-- has tangled itself in its own cord and tumbled headlong to the basement
Crooked photos of daughters watch me... smiling (Can it be?) from a hundred miles and years away? Waiting for me to make that miracle again-- What moms do at Christmas
Phone rings “Jing-a-ling, are ya listening?” It's the bill collector's recorded “This is inexcusable!” message Charities are legion I say, “There is a line”
Later-- seen only by the peaceful stars... the donkey of Bethlehem stumbles in-- laden with groceries dumping them on the bed/couch ...and back outside for the next load ...and back to the bed again Why bother making it? Not as if the cat cares He likes his blankets niched and lumpy Not as if some modern home magazine's planning a photo-shoot!
The mailbox, meanwhile is preggers with glossy catalogues ...and bills...and “Wouldn't your whole family enjoy a sunroom?”
Dropping the bags searching for a light turning up the heat-- gas bill sewer bill “Tis the season for a new Toyota!” I try to understand the point of a Christmas card with printed signature Can I stuff myself in with the recycling?
Then, back outside for the single-woman drama “Hauling in the Tree” Storm door catches the hem of my coat Pine needles, leaves, snow and mud mark the end of the trail
On my belly twisting screws “Son-of-a-******* tree stand!” Knocking my daughter's picture off the wall “Serves 'er right fer laughin!” **** thing's crooked and dripping with melted snow
It's 8:30 PM
The cat is hungry and crying I hit the bottom-- and the button for the background of a human voice Three naked chickens are waiting on the counter
At some point, I will take off my coat...
Right now-- I drink a beer while standing
To get a better view....
I'm sure there are more than a few parents among us poets, trying to make the holidays merry and memorable for their families despite the ongoing demands of work, loneliness, loss and the season swirling around us. It can be pretty hectic. Some will struggle more than others. This poem is for them.