Sunday, December 20, 2009

Verse: Christmas As I Knew It

(NB: the title was appropriated from Johnny Cash)

And I
am still that child
waiting at the window
on the dull rattan sofa
waiting to see my father
emerge victorious at last
from the shivering winter woods
with our Christmas tree
the film of my breath
on the window made him
seem somehow younger,
softer, sleeker than he was

And I
am still that child
anxious with anticipation
and unable to sleep
listening to my pulse race
until it exhausted itself
and finally trailed off
like the warm whistle of a train
disolving in the crisp, gelid air

And I
am still that child
skulking on tiptoes so as not to
breach the tenuous silence
of the darkened living room
barely able to contain
my excitement upon seeing
the overflowing nylon stockings
sprawled upon the cold hearth
and the packages piled
like a hasty built and
abandoned armament
around the tree

And I
am still that child
nestled in bed
on Christmas night
hearing the faint strains
of Perry Como, and Elvis
serenading my father and mother
in the amber glow of the living room
their hushed tones a lullaby
singing me to sleep
as the snow outside my window
swallows the vast ebony sky

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