by Danny P. Barbare  

Sears. JC Penney’s. Belks.
No malls.  Santa Claus was
dad in the attic bumping around.
Magically a bike. Frigid cold
winters deep with snow. Russian
tea. Hot chocolate. Stinging
red hands. Radio Flyer sled.
Caroling, I didn’t careless.
Catholic church, twelve o’clock
Mass. Monsignor Balm’s low
voice. Poinsettias everywhere.
Someone shoots the donation box.
But it’s anchored in the wall.
Handmade ornaments on our tree
by my aunt. Picking quite meanly
at our poodle. Sword fighting with
wrapping paper rolls with
my brother and friends. Peeping
in our presents. Going to see
relatives. Fruit cake. Hickory
Farm’s sausage and sweet mustard.
Eggnog with nutmeg and Whitman’s
Chocolates. Velvet red bows.
Mistletoe, shot out of an oak tree
with .22 rifle. Kissing angels,
that played Silent Night.
Putting our backs to the fireplace
and sitting in a rocking chair.
Dreading going back to school.
As the snowman is last to melt.

Danny P. Barbare resides in the Carolinas. He works as a janitor at a local YMCA in Simpsonville, South Carolina.