I was wiping the dust off an old snow globe in the upstairs attic, when a mop of honey-blonde hair suddenly appeared through the wooden flooring.
"I thought I'd find you here," said the voice, warm and feminine. It was a lovely contrast to the thoughts that bloomed inside my head. The little red Santa smiling gaily, his gloved hand forever frozen in a wave. Truth be told it was over a hundred degrees outside, and up here in this cobweb-ridden place (by God) was practically unbearable.
But as I lightly shook the fragile keepsake I found myself dashing through the snow like I once did so many years ago. I heard the sound of high pitched laughter from afar, out in the sultry day (most likely the neighbor kids playing tag through a sprinkler-soaked lawn). But there, at that precise moment, I was taking the road before me, and singing a chorus or two.
"You miss him don't ya?" the voice broke me out of my thoughts, and for a moment I just stared at her as if she had a left over piece of spinach in her teeth. I nodded quietly in the silence and rubbed the smooth curvature of the glass with my thumb. It somehow felt cold, as if winter wonderland was still trapped inside.
I knew I hadn't stayed too long, though I knew my wife would be patient throughout this ordeal, however long it took. She didn't need to recite any famous sayings to pick me up, just her being there was enough. It was the unspoken truth between us, and it was always enough.
"Cody and Angie will be downstairs when you're ready to head out."
"I'm ready now. I was just doing a little cleaning up." It wasn't quite a lie. It was one of those statements we use to say one thing and mean the other. The attic was "okay", but I knew of more dire things in need of some organization.
Beth went down the ladder first, naturally. Then it was me, a bit awkwardly, still holding the snow globe. We both came into the living room, where our children sat waiting. Cody was playing some handheld video-game in his Hawaiian swimming trunks. Angie was quietly giggling at something her friend said, via text. Her blue bathing suit was barely more than a strap, and I knew I was this close from losing it. But this was a happy day, so I let it slide, just this once.
"Are you still not ready?" asked Angie.
I looked down at my blue work jeans and buttoned-up t-shirt. My wife gave her a fierce look, as if willing her to take back what she said. It didn't really matter though ... my emotions were spent.
"I was gonna change when we got there," I said, a bit defeated.
"Whatever." She rolled her eyes and plopped her phone right there on the couch. I just stood there like a lifeless statue, while my family got everything ready to head to the local pool. My wife was as patient as a snail, but the kids bustled about as if they've been down here a lifetime. Cody was mad when Beth took the game-boy from his hand, just before some big important checkpoint. Angie was calling Beth completely unfair for not letting her invite Tom over to come swim as well. My wife told her, "This is a family event, no exceptions, and for Pete's sake, listen to me for just this once!"
I just stood there, in quiet grief. Their voices were mere sounds, plastic and surreal, and I went along with it as if everything was alright. But it wasn't alright. The world was falling apart all around me, miraculously still turning, and I just stood there! Finally I reached for the doorknob, when I realized I still had the snow globe in my hand.
I looked at it longingly, with affection, and it came to me. A slightly crazy idea. Not the kind where it's life or death, but the fact that it was a spur of the moment decision, it felt totally crazy. I placed the snow globe on the mantel above the fireplace, where the glass caught the sun just right and the jolly Santa shone a brilliant red.
Allow me this simple pleasure, I asked God in silence. Let the neighbors gawk and smirk all they want. Let the kids think their father's going senile, thinking it's December and not August. I didn't care. I just watched the little flakes twinkle through out the water-filled dome.
I displayed it proudly, knowing that good will, kindness and love were never out of season. So I picked myself up out of my gloomy state, got inside the car, and slid into the driver's seat. "Alright, let's go!" I said cheerfully, and everyone looked surprised.
"Dad, is everything … okay?" asked Cody, from behind. But no answer was necessary. I just smiled, and looked across at Beth without a care in the world.
And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
First Published in Dual Coast Magazine Issue #3
NOTE: I've written a few short stories, but this one is special to me. It was well received by my family, and I was so excited to discover it was accepted by a magazine. It was my first non-poem to be published.
Copyright © Timothy Hicks | Year Posted 2016
Have you ever written anything without sub combing to tears ?
My Family portrait in my mind , 2 older sisters , 2 brothers
My Mother caring about all five in different ways
Just with Mom & Dad there having the best of Holidays
My sisters laying out on the deck of river bank for 4th of July ~
Listening to " Honkey Chateau " and all by Elton John.
music a great memory ~Disco , Donna summer , Grease ~ Jaws !
Dad's records to Tony Bennett , Hank W Sr. , Count Basie & Louis Armstrong.
The music takes me home in a wagon filled with children and a dog "Lucky "
My Older brother , athletic , always fishing & hunting.
My younger , my Rock , Swimming and netting for fish,
feeding our Fat cat Perch off the rocks patiently awaits her food
the yelling , slamming of doors , tempers Flare , passion
Our Parents , passionate love yet passionate Hate .
After being a Family of Seven , Divorcing their fate ..
Why did that show " Dallas " bring out the Divorce in all ?
Scottish ~ Irish ~ French Iroquois ~ Cherokee
No matter what the mix ..Our curse Alcohol ~
the Screaming , Drinking , this memory I wish to shut the door on .
Going to A & W or making Cheerleading ,The Bears of course~
Excited in Chicago ! seeing Elton John in the Summer of 1976 ~
Cubs , museum of Wax , Museum of science & History , Pizza !
Expeditions of discovery ,little brother & I finding arrowheads on the Shore.
Our Grandparents Faithful Celebrations ! Chiffon cake , Apple strudel `
Our Cousins on Holidays , going for ice cream cones ,
scent of wet rain on oak leaves ~Before Halloween was bought in stores.
~ That is the Family I Love ,
that is the Family I choose to miss ~
Copyright © Shanity Rain | Year Posted 2013
Like most we wandered and wavered
and fell for the devil's wily ways
But not on that day
On that day all sins were forgiven
Curses dissolved into blessings
Tension melted in the glow of good will
Evil evaporated in the light of truth
Grief fell victim to delight
Death succumbed to life..
Sipping on Eggnog spiked with Rum
Hugging our sons and our daughters
Gently scolding wayward grandchildren
Slapping old friends on the back
Bragging and telling tall tales
Laughing hysterically at our lies
On that day there were no missing pieces
On that day the wounded world was healed
On that blessed and blissful day
it all made sense...
*Christmas Eve - 2009
Copyright © Tim Ryerson | Year Posted 2015
I do not know?
It's Christmas! Christmas!
That time of year
When people are filled...
With holiday cheer?
Yeah right. . .
I really do wish it were true
But people are people
Through and through
It's not about happiness anymore
Or in respect to what matters.
In reality it concerns what you get
And the food that is piled on the platters.
What has happened to the world of today?
Where is the 'loving and giving...'?
Now it is all just me, me, me.
Is this a nightmare? Or are we actually living.
Yep we might have a lot of things
Hang on! Let's add some more
It isn't the family that I'm expecting
But the postman knocking at the door.
When the topic turns to Christmas cheer
Lets go stuff our faces...
Break out all that lovely beer!
Chuck away those graces!
But... Suddenly the month is over
There go all the gifts you gave
Your debt payments crawl closer and closer
And you become a material slave.
Copyright © Annie De Lys | Year Posted 2012
Deck the halls with photos of me
I know you miss me
I miss you too
But I am always there
Always watching you from above
We have memories of our life together
The time we had was exceptional
I was taken away too soon
We didn’t get the chance to say goodbye
This time of year used to be so special
I hear you speak to me
Telling me about your day
I see you crying into your pillow
It breaks my heart
I know you are thinking of me
We loved each other for a million years
And will for a million more
Never able to hold each other again
I will always be with you
And you will always be with me
So deck the halls with photos of me
I will be there in spirit with you
Raise a glass to my memory
I want you to
Copyright © Sarah Bryant | Year Posted 2015
I do not know?
The first of many Christmas's will come without you here
I know it is the happiest time of the year
But not for our family will it be that way
For you wont be there that day
You wont be in your chair watching the kids play with thier toys
You wont be saying hay come here boys
Grandpa has a special gift just for you
An then say the same thing to the girls too
As you hug each one tight as you hand it to them
each one specialy picked as if they where rare gems
Everyone will be missing your smile
An I know it will be that way for quite a while
Copyright © nita martin | Year Posted 2012
If you chance to see
a wandering snowman
on your way home tonight
Let me know.
The poinsettias have started to wilt, turning dull
The Christmas lights have flickered low into the night
The food has lost its savor
Gifts have been opened
Blurry are my windows now
As snow continues to hide
My precious snowman from plain site.
If you chance to meet
My wandering snowman
On your way home tonight
Stop for a moment and play with him.
Share a candy. Make him smile
Make him a paper airplane. Make him beam and laugh.
Hug and kiss him for me. Warm his heart.
It's all a lost mother would ask
If you chance to experience
My wandering snowman
On your way home tonight
Please send him home
to a warm Christmas with me.
It's all that I ask.
Copyright © Wendy Meyer | Year Posted 2013
by Robert (Bob) Moore © 2015
We’ll pause our celebrations, of Christmas and New Year
to spend a quiet moment, and maybe shed a tear
to think of friends and family, who are no longer here
and be thankful for the memories, we hold forever dear
empty places at the table, empty spaces in our heart
the thoughts we will remember, of the day we had to part
they will always be here with us, forever in our dreams
so close to us that we can almost, touch them, so it seems
we know they’re watching over us, and they love us still
we think about them every day, and know we always will
remember all the happy times, we shared when they were here
and we will meet again someday, and hold them, forever near
Copyright © Bob Moore | Year Posted 2016
A Christmas Gift
O Dear Lord
My earnest prayer
For my dear friend
And grief she bears.
Her Pastor husband
Few days before
This Christmas Day.
She’s quite a gal
So faithful stood
And helped him with
The Sheep she could.
Her children dear
She’s kept them close
And passed this year
With promised hope.
But now she sits
This day in tears
For it is almost
Been a year.
The Christmas Tree
Before her sets
She has her lights
And just again
Her tears of grief
She couldn’t lift
A hook or piece.
Two Doves appeared
In radiant white
And lifted garland
Round and tight.
One by one
They hooked and pinned
And tinsel thin
The tree it glowed
Its lights so bright
The beauty shown
Throughout the night.
She slept so sound
And dreamed that he
Her husband came and
Dressed the tree.
And when she woke
From grief worn eyes
There it was
To her surprise
A Glorious tree
But how and where?
A message held
A top the tree
By two white doves
She took it down
With breath so tight
She told herself
O what a night!
“I am not far
As you can see
I love you
She gasped in awe
His picture drew
She held it close
Her heart anew
She smiled soft
And no more tears
He’d be with her
The magic of
This Christmas Tree
A gift of Love
Copyright © Jeralynn Clark | Year Posted 2009
I do not know?
I know the lights upon your tree
Won`t seem so bright this year.
And carols that the children sing
You may not want to hear.
The Holidays bring back the pangs
Of grief within your heart.
And once again, you`ll question why
Your loved one had to part.
The Lord provides us loved ones but,
Recalls them all to soon.
Then Christmas seems to reinforce
Your world is out of tune.
Hold tight to friends and family,
They`ll shelter you with love.
Through them you`ll sense your loved one`s heart
From heaven up above.
Copyright © Christy McMillan | Year Posted 2010
A frenzy, a chaos of
celebration all around.
Togetherness and ritual imposed while
inside of me a splintering
No respite, no escape from
faces eager to connect
to share, to love.
Grief is a mongrel here;
an agony of burden on
the righteous shoulders of joy
I can only run, crying out,
in frantic search of
This tree, this breeze that
gives me permission
gives me space
Its tapestry of lace against
a grey ocean of sky
shrouds me from expectation,
defending my right
Copyright © Victoria Schmidt | Year Posted 2014
I feel translucent
a man of marble skin
as if dreaming my motions
every step a tread in water
each reach of my hand
a ghost grip touches
but nothing holds and yet
I clutch these stones and
iron spear barricades
as a sea-snail would the bedrock
for this is my folly
to hug close the masonry of charity
I feel nothing
no remorse runs down my arms
to my useless wrists
twists my mouth into rabid snarl
no pleasure lifts my face
from the footfalls
of those celestial beings
not even a soaked black wall
on which I am a shadow
penetrates my deadened hide
I feel grotesque
I am a gargoyle of flesh and bone
sown into the fabric of these
towers with closed doorways
that form broken arch homes
for broken things
no longer am I broken
I have embraced
the cold and hunger
of my mouth and my soul
I am free of this place
here I am still
here for you to see
if you can stomach
to see me
From The Pagan Field (print 1996, eBook 2013) available FREE until 15 Nov. at
Copyright © Steve Downes | Year Posted 2013
mabe some show care
i think and stare
how some you don't win
they always have a grim
you see you can't trust
FRIENDS AND CHRISTMAS
Copyright © kurtis scott aka curtis futch jr | Year Posted 2013