Friday, December 19, 2014

December Night

I shoo them towards beds
Longing for a time when the patter of feet
The shouts and yelps
And last trips down the stairs
Quiet at last

Give them each a hug and kiss
While they whisper excitedly to each other
About the early presents
That a kind soul gifted them today
One wants to tell me what she named the puppies
(Very original I'm so impressed)
Another that she lost the shoes for Snow White Barbie
(We'll find them in the morning, I'm sure)
And another that she's planning to sew a stuffed zebra
(That's really creative, dear. Have fun tomorrow)
And then I have to kiss them again
Because they were so busy talking
They don't remember the first one

Slightly impatiently
I kiss more quickly this time
(Pay attention, I'm not coming again)
And scold the littlest
Who can't seem to remember
That he belongs under blankets

Turning off the light
Is the relief of locking up the office
(Or maybe the animal shelter)
And stepping into the fresh air

But they ask for the ladybug
That makes the star pattern shine on their ceiling
And while I sing an ancient hymn
They find constellations in the stars
Even the one who will never see stars again
Not in this life

And we sigh together
And we sing together
Caught in the solemn space
Between gratitude
And melancholy

Closing the door
The little one begs for Silent Night
The song we've sung 358 times since last Christmas
The girls groan
But I oblige
Feeling now that I wouldn't mind lingering
Under the constellations
In the calm and the bright

And when I finally creak down the stairs
To the muted sparkling colors
And the six flickering candles
One in each front window
To cheer this dim little neighborhood
When I finally breathe
I wish that I had given them
One more round of hugs
And maybe one more verse
Of Silent Night

No comments:

Post a Comment