And so they come,
these exhausting days of pleasure.
Good cheer and jangled nerves,
presents for everyone,
even those you would never
give presents to,
the too fat,
prosperous, arrogant, selfish.
And they get the best of these,
lest our gifts are lacking,
not big enough for their bowls,
and worthy of their exalted station.
And so the season comes on us.
Good will toward men,
toward anyone who would rob us.
And I spend time making lists,
but they are for those who owe me things.
Patience, when they shunned me.
A smile, when they frowned.
Understanding, when they read the paper.
Watched television as my heart broke.
My presents this year
are the seeds I put out for birds,
the occasional tulips eaten by squirrels,
the small child,
in fact all children who appreciate my toys.
The pleasure of ten dollars
pressed in the hands of strangers
fading in a crowd,
the pleasure of remaining silent
when I pray,
giving God a break.
It all goes back
to a child in Nigeria,
or was it Japan,
or perhaps New Guinea,
perhaps some waif in a castle,
But these children are all the same.
Like the chipmunks and squirrels,
or new hatchlings in the sea,
their eyes as wide as moons,
hearts pure as silver,
pure happy souls,
laying with sheep
and surrounded by wolves
give me something in return,