Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by
Two Writing Teachers.
"Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. "
- from the short story "Eleven" by Sandra Cisnernos
I wrote this poem when I was teaching 7th and 8th grade English in Tulsa at Monte Cassino School (1982 –84). When I asked my students to write, I would also write and this remembrance of a special Christmas was the result of one of those assignments. My mother's church friends became our secret elves that year.
It was Christmas, different from any before.
Mom was recovering from a heart attack.
There were no bustling trips to town for Christmas gifts.
Money was scarce and hospital bills high
in our family of five:
big sister – 14,
big brother – 8,
and me – 5.
Home wasn’t filled with traditional smells of Christmas baking.
Yet we were happy, Mom was with us.
Then one day the magic came.
Our barren tree was laden with gifts.
Big brother and I danced with glee.
There were gifts for everyone.
We could scarcely wait for Christmas morn.
One box I remember in particular.
A round oatmeal box decorated to look like Santa
And filled with homemade cookies.
The lid just lifted off, wasn’t even taped.
I don’t remember too much of that Christmas morn.
Big brother got cars.
I got crocheted house shoes.
And everyone got
An empty Santa!
- Ramona Scifres Behnke
Have a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday and enjoy exploring your wooden dolls that fit one inside the other.