This Christmas

owl

I don’t want anything new
or different, the latest
style or shade—

I want something old
and familiar, worn and wound
around my heart with strings
of rough wool, tugging
at memories buried beneath
the frost, barricaded by thorns
and brambles laden with blood-red fruit.

This Christmas I want the warm
rush of pleasure being reunited—
the moist eyes of family
remembering way-back-when.

The lopsided handmade star, the chipped
cup and tarnished silver tray; the whisky
cake, cheese ball and crackers; apple cider, lemonade and tinned fruit in the punch.

This Christmas, when I raise a glass
I expect it to twinkle with tears for the lost
and gleam with the reflected glances
of lovers’ god-blessed eyes.

© Julie Thorndyke