Monday, December 12, 2011

The Christmas Shack

His back was stooped.  His hair had turned to gray.
His memories lay back in yesterday.
Recalling times the way they used to be
brought only loneliness this Christmas Eve.

From his Christmas box he unwrapped each Christmas past;
a winter scene in a Christmas ball of glass.
How his child had laughed when he turned it upside down
and watched the snow fall gently to the ground.

One Christmas he had made this wooden train
and set it up around the Christmas tree.
As he held it now, he could hear his young son laugh.
Yes, that was how Christmas was meant to be.

His son grew into a man  The years slipped by.
And with the years there also came a war.
His son marched off in pride to serve his country
and with that march his laughter was no more.

For fifty years, he and his wife shared life together.
They faced the future loving, come what may.
He thought his heart would break apart with longing
for God had called her home last Christmas day.

He reached deep within the box down to the bottom
and brought up her scarf and remembered days afar.
He took out the brooch she had worn upon their wedding
and hung it just below the Christmas star.

A teardrop fell as he gazed outside his window.
Then he saw them jump from the train into the snow.
The wind blew hard as they huddled close together
It was toward the shack they seemed to go.

He recognized a man, a wife, a child.
Times were hard.  He'd seen many pass this way.
The temperature outside was falling quickly.
The shack was cold on this dark pre-Christmas day.

Then he heard deep within his spirit.
A voice that said to gather, and go fast.
To take to them the things they be in need of
and to take to them the things of Christmas past.

They heard the knock and with fear the door they opened
of the cold but sheltered little shack.
They found his gift sitting on the doorstep.
The wind blew snow across his shuffled track.

He'd given them his blankets made of wool.
He brought to them his pillows fluffed with down.
He brought to them their food for Christmas day
and placed with love on top his gift they found.

For the man an envelope filled up with money.
"Merry Christmas" was all the note would say
and "I hope this in some small way will help you
find your family home on Christmas day.

For her a scarf of lovely tatted lace
pinned in place by a wedding brooch of gold.
There was a Christmas ball that held a Christmas scene;
and a wooden train for a small child's hands to hold.

He pulled close his old rocker near his oven
and felt the warmth as he opened up the door.
He felt himself fill up with Christmas spirit.
He smiled, not feeling lonely anymore.

"Merry Christmas Dad." He looked toward the voice.
He saw his son and that he was not alone.
With out-stretched arms she smiled through her tears
as she said "Merry Christmas Dear.  Come...we're going home."

Copyright 1995
Susie Whiting

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