When the soft breath of night
Frosts the sky around the stars,
We sleep, renew our souls,
Unless the break of day brings
The anticipation of treasure . . . .
I traced the room with wakeful eyes,
Sprawled, unable to relax,
Substituting blinks for slumber,
While the grown-ups found their respite
From merry preparations.
In little ears, the sounds are real;
“Jingle” seemed to ring out twice,
Then “Clop” and “Clop” upon the roof.
Did I hear the myth approach?
How could I stay rooted now?
Curiousity pulled me quick
Out into the domestic mirk,
Lighted but by searing gleams
From the center of this night’s gravity:
The tree in all its new found glory.
I stepped with utmost lightness,
Whispering “keep quiet”,
Not thinking to refrain from speaking aloud;
The words just poured right out
For nervous anticipation.
Was the red suit stretching down,
That white beard hanging below the bricks,
Black boots alight the sooted ground?
No one worked to stock the tree.
The boxes sat in wait.
To guess the contents may be tempting,
But would spoil the quaint surprise
When I rumbled down the stairs
Breathless in the morning rush
For the fruits of giving.
And how the paper littered the ground!
–Not the toughest skin to shed,
Unless the ribbon gripped too hard,
Then time would stick ’til scissors sheared
And toys were freed to play.
I wish that time was stuck right now;
I’ve not caught sight in many years
Of the fluid flow of ribbon,
And little things don’t seem so big
Now that I have grown.
I see the needles on the floor
And know the broom must soon be worked;
It keeps me up in dead of night,
This and worries hard to count:
The compromise of age.
So, now the magic has waned,
And what remains is real
–Not bad for a consolation;
But sometimes I wish for more,
Wish upon on a star,
Copyright 2007, 2102 by Michael Marsters.
All rights reserved.
Our lists were always so well represented,
Yet somehow I was always taken by surprise . . . .