Poem: Not Quite a Postcard

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Not Quite a PostCard

The house lacks some of the trappings.
No bright green wreath hangs on the door.
The porch is not festooned with twinkling lights.

There are lights on the tree.
That much got done.
and there are presents, a smattering of them, underneath.

It is a different kind of Christmas again,
a readjusting to time and distance and children
new and old, steeped in their own lives,

a time to create new traditions,
to celebrate what is new as the Christ-child,
to rejoice in the past as the laying of foundations,

new cities built on old, new layers of Christmas,
not the postcard, but vivid and new, scars showing,
like stained glass, full of color, letting the light in,

landmarks of a life lived,
well worth the celebration
as is the new.

And so we celebrate. We laugh. We understand
there are no endings, only a strange morphing, year to year,
part of the magic, part of the present, a thing to unwrap,

and sing hosannas that nothing is the same,
that we are not, after all, museum pieces,
but vibrant, alive, and growing still.

About this poem

Ever since my divorce a decade and more ago, Christmas has been different each year. I have spent them alone. I have spent them with children and with strangers. Decorations and the Sunday feasts have changed depending on the comings and goings of increasingly grown-up kids with faraway lives.

This year is no different. A new mix of family to celebrate the day with. Change again.

Maybe that is part of the lesson of Christmas, that day when a child was born and everything changed. Including us.

To my Christian friends and readers, have a blessed Christmas.  I will be back a day or two after the holiday.

Tom

PS – the picture was taken nearby, on the outskirts of Manchester, Vermont. All year round, it reminds me of a postcard.

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