by Michael T. Bee
Dust of forgotten dreams in my eyes - I rise with coughs and creaks
and cold morning on my legs.
The dark house rumbles with my father bear tread to the kitchen
and I loose a hundred screams of a Colombian morning from
theblack-howlers, and tamarins in the grinder.
I muffle their din with a dishtowel but a squawk or two -
from the parrots and the carpinteros escape as I knock
and scrape the dark warm smelling coffee into the
yawning top of the pot.
I stand dully in front of that black gurgling fountain until
my cup is full.
No time for breakfast. Only a cup of scorching coffee
and a handful of dark chocolate (from the secret cabinet)
and then to the basement!
Down and back, down and back.
Christmas boxes pile up at the top of the stair -
and thump and crack and shine their red and
green plastic under the yellow 40 watts of
Finally, the tree comes slowly up with me.
It's brown cardboard coffin sighing like
Marley's ghost as it drags across the stairs.
The rest of the family is up now. Rising and rushing in
like puppies on their first morning away from mother.
Pulling ornaments and garland from boxes. Mouths gleaming - with more teeth than seen at a carny ride.
There's a parade to the living room with-box after box and
me solemnly pulling Marley. I pull that artificial spruce out and he rises bit by bushy bit to fill the living room sky. His 600 perfect multicolored lights blink to life.
Limbs uncurl, and fluff and fill with a hundred years of memories. "This was from my house when I was a boy."
"This needle-point one was from my sister"
"...No. That's from my friend when I was single."
"Wait, here's another one. Maybe that is from your sister?"
The hours turn quickly as the pages of the Christmas books, and catalogs, and there's nog, and cookies, and naps. Until finally, the postman rattles the mailbox and plunks in a handful of junk mail mixed with cards.
And it is night.
The windows frost. Carols crank out from somewhere. We're
itchy and warm in our robes. And happy and in awe of the tree.
We'll sleep here tonight.
Last updated December 19, 2012