December 21, 2018
Photo by Sandra Delzotti
A Poem by Mark S. Peel
Paper crowns and popper toys lay still and neglected on the holiday table
where crumbs and walnut shell bits also remain from evening last.
The first up is the most anxious, inquisitive and disturbing to all the others
who rise from obligation and gather quietly in the living room
near the splendidly decorated tree and stuffed stockings.
Lights aglow reflect off the glass of the nearby curio cabinet.
The grand tree, its branches drooping slightly after a week waiting unnaturally
pinched in a stand and watered for mere survival only, dominates the room.
The smallest gifts – the stuff of stockings – are opened first.
Soon there is more wrapping paper piled to the side
or being passed around than anything else in the room.
Many polite smiles and anticipated wonderment, curious expressions,
special satisfactions and unspoken disappointments emerge.
Clutter slowly welcomes order; no one thinks of the world’s troubles this moment.
It is a time of suspended reality and indulgence –
breakfast just three more wrapped gifts each away.
Offerings mend the year’s past offenses or confuse frustrated intentions.
It is a time when personal short-comings and guilt
yield to good will, imperfect but sincere.