Saturday, January 06, 2007


I love this day
Of putting away... I say
Good-bye, chubby angel wearing frilly ribbon and good-bye
To guest towels with green embroidered wreaths.
So long, Santa doll that rocks and snores
Under Mother's 1950s wall-tree crocheted green and sewn
With red wooden balls.
Yes, good-bye good-bye, all red-and-green:
Quilted stockings with family names,
Placemats, dishes, mugs, and trays. Now
Lights come off the bushes outside and in,
Plants stand plain again.
Blest January's monochrome I embrace.
The house fills up again: with space.
But more: I love this very day
The frigid dog-walk pause to see how shiny tinsel
Flutters on spent supine firs,
Brave shredded flags of lights that say, "We served."
I love last-handling treasured things
To tuck them under eaves where they will snooze
Through blooming bulbs and barbecues,
Through fireworks, spade work, paper-work, schoolwork.
Through hearts shamrocks eggs flags pumpkins and yes, another turkey,
The Babe will sleep/hide/wait in secret here with shepherds and kings.
This day I walk my house in quiet
(no "ho-ho-ho" from motion-activated Santa door-wreath
my sister sent that then plays endless crass and holy tunes,
God crashing in so oddly)
And stack the colored cards that flew here;
They have the heft of prayer: Good news
That you still love us and we you too,
I read them one last time, then
Review receipts of treasure spent.
They say, You did it, you brought the Son to earth
And paid in cash to boot.
One feast remains, of Magi riding hard
Across the wasteland, jingling all the way.
Tardy, perhaps, but not too late, they gain
Wisdom's cradle.
Oh, today the angel visits one last time,
Chubby, in frilly ribbons, comes to warn, to guide:
"Don't go back by the way you came.
Protect the precious, found new Life!"
Once more I bake: a bean-enclosing cake
To celebrate the Light
With crowns, loud voices, laughing friends
Around the table. Then
Christmas ends. The elements rest
In cardboard treasure chests
and this,
This is the peace that was promised.

From "The Santa Book," c 2001 Pat Caplan Andrews


Anonymous Sarah said...

What a lovely entry! I had forgotten it. I think I need to read The Santa Book again! To have the pleasure of reading your writing and to get myself back on track for Christmas 2007. Keep writing on your Blog. Peace, Sarah

6:20 AM  

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