The Christmas Gift
Copyright 1990 Susie Whiting
The cold December wind blew
As she tucked them in their bed;
The three small ones at the bottom,
the two larger at the head.
She wished them all sweet dreams
and made sure they all had prayed,
and told them to sleep quickly
for the morn brought Christmas day.
As the ice hung outside the windows
the old stove she filled with slack
that she had gathered up the night before
along the railroad track.
She opened up the damper
and let down the oven door.
She pulled close her old rocker
as she's done so oft before.
From a box she brought the treasures
of days that used to be;
the suit of tweed that he wore
and her gown of organdy.
She clutched them oh so tightly.
She could almost hear him say
the loving words he spoke to her
upon their wedding day.
She laid a kiss so gently
upon the coat of tweed.
It now would be the jackets
that her boys were so in need.
She picked the seams of organdy
to make a smaller dress.
A teardrop found its way down her cheek
and fell upon her breast.
The lantern flickered softly
as the night grew dark and calm.
Her fingers must work quickly
before the coming dawn.
For as the dawn brought Christmas morning
for her wee ones all there'd be
were two jackets made of tweed
and three gowns of organdy.
Her eyes grew weak and weary-
if only she could rest.
Again a teardrop found its way
to the same spot upon her breast.
Why was the old dog whining
beside the kitchen door?
He had always barked and tugged her dress
when he had wanted out before.
The cold wind danced the snow flakes
across the kitchen floor
as she drew her shawl and raised the latch
and opened up the door.
What was that sitting on the porch?
There were no tracks upon the snow.
A box draped in gold and tied in blue,
adorned with a silver bow.
She brought close her old lantern
and untied the silver bow
to find within the treasures
from where they came she didn't know.
She found within its open arms
two small coats of matching tweed
and a small white box lay hidden
beneath three gowns of organdy.
In it a tiny teardrop necklace
sparkled on a string of gold.
Her trembling hands raised it up
for her small white neck to hold.
And as she hooked the clasp,
the small pearl fell to rest
upon the very teardrop
that had fallen on her breast