“Christmas to Tears”
My heart is singing …
I woke up bouncing today,
Snow fluttering out my window.
Crystals softly drifting,
Ice flakes, pearling to grass.
Still in my flannels, I bound up the steps,
Tiptoed to closet, knelt down low
Emptied some boxes – orbs of color –
Reds, blues, greens – bespeckled
With hues of Christmas.
In bottom of box lay an old letter
Yellowed, tattered on edges.
Inside – a note from my Mother,
lamenting loss of my Father.
Told how she missed him,
Noisy TV, cigars, football.
She babysat others’ children
To earn a little income.
I loved him,” she sighed through that letter.
Alone she was, heart ‘rent and broken,
Still watching others’ children,
With me, half a country from home,
My heart reaching out to hold her,
But short by a thousand miles.
Days later, she had a stroke …
I sit on landing at top of the stairs,
… My dear, sweet mother.
by Jeanne Jacoby Smith