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A Gifting

A breeze freshened, then turned cold,
Another old story now to be retold:
Of seasonal wishes and hopes reborn,
Chances taken even if burnished by scorn.
Crossing the tracks, he walked into Tiny Tim’s store
Sunlight followed him in just like the weeks before
The shopkeeper smiled to see the young man arrive
Another payment to place, was it number four or five?
Four payments left and then soon Christmas comes,
That time of roasted chestnuts and puddings with plums.
Back to Cross Grocery and shelves to stack and refill
Earning his money for rent, food, and that toy store bill.
Twas a sudden quirk storm that roared into town:
Rain, billowing snow, then sleet rocketed down.
An SUV late for choir practice risked running the ringing gate,
But the Autotrain was faster, STOP!
…but, too late.
The clerk flew across the tracks to help if he could;
He pulled out the shopkeeper, nice old Josiah Wood,
And a couple of customers getting their purchases done;
Then, stayed with that car driver, trapped and sore alone.
Car and train had finished their dance at the toy store back door;
All happily survived, but that prepaid toy was of course no more.
Christmas Eve, and the clerk had just walked back home
To start his Ursa chili with his Woolworth’s pots of chrome.
A knock on the door, and oh my goodness, there on his stoop stood
That railroad councilwoman, and on crutches, Mister Josiah Wood!
Beckoning them to come in and get out of the cold,
Our clerk blushed in worry about what could be told.
Mister Wood then handed our clerk a box as he brushed away a tear:
The Lionel Train Set the clerk had been paying for over the past half year.
Pop-eyed, our clerk struggled to make good on giving proper appreciation,
The councilwoman said it’s they who wished to reward his aid and application.
The clerk still said thank you, for this most important gift, was meant for another—
A gentleman at the Ashland Nursing Home, a railroad friend of his departed mother.
The wind slowed to a pause for this, a new holiday silent night.
Twinkling merrily did the Christmas lights make for a sweet sight.
And, for our good neighbors who may forget old holiday rhymes,
It’s nice to remember: “For it is good to be children sometimes.”

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Toymaker! Toymaker!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please make me a car!
Make it go fast!
Make it go far!
Paint it hot red
With racing stripes of blue;
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
All the kids love you!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please make me a dolly!
Something to take to granny’s
When we go on the trolley!
Make her with a pretty dress,
Something in silver and gold;
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I ALWAYS do as I’m told!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Make me a kite!
Make it fly high,
Clean out of sight!
Can it have a long tail?
Will it spin in the sky?
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I’ll let sister have a try.

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please tell us true—
What is your favorite toy:
Izit a horsey or a cow that goes moo?
What do you make
When freeing your wiles?
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I do see all those kids smiles!

Lacks Clarity

Cold front coming:
Get some blankets and extra socks.
Passed up on a life
With a sweet goldilocks.
So, I’m back in my own
Questionable company—
Doing some laundry
While composting soliloquy.
I’m not in the photo,
Entered Seventh Grade.
Tossed from senior rec room,
Still ain’t yet made the grade.
It’s still all an illusion,
My calculus was all wrong.
Ennui neck and neck with nostalgia
With second thoughts coming on strong.
How can you leave the concert early?
The Force has left the room.
Remember when 6th grade H.W. Allen math
Was interrupted by a Keesler sonic boom?
But here come the rains
As the winds turn to flip North.
Who wants to meet in Ashland?
Its Train Day November 4th!
Cold front coming!
Morning’s temps will bite.
But forever will I be
Rooting for that Green and White!

Answer True

My lady asks
Have any fairy wings?
My lady asks
For the most strangest of things
How is your breathing?
Have you any pain?
My lady makes such inquiries
Again and again and again
My lady walks
Toward sunrises and sunsets
My lady talks
About lost causes and yesterday’s sure bets
Have you made your plans?
Have you made your peace with goodbye?
My lady bravely faces a future
When it will be her turn to let herself cry
My lady asks
Have you any fairy wings?
My lady asks
For the most wondrous of things
How are you?
How are things going?
My lady shares her heart
With a love that’s flowing and flowing and flowing

Several Paces Past

Several paces past
The beginning and the end,
Comes the space wherein
We like to try it all over again;
Unsay that awful
Which was sorely said;
Get up earlier
And make the stupid bed.
Say goodbye later
And just hang a minute more or two;
Maybe life could be better,
Not this evermore darkening in blue.
Leavening choices cast
Between the close and over there,
We can render a space therein
We can go for the Happy rather than old soggy despair.
Yes, I do agree!
No, that doesn’t make you fat!
Please, of course I’ll wait for you—
You like me? Well, imagine that!

B&W Autograph

His smile
Blunted and shunted off to the corner of a face
The eyes
Hooded, angry, pleading—
A cold Covington, LA winter day,
But Bright Sunny,
But not his smile;
Peacoat buttoned up,
Chin up,
Wondering—
Why was he caged in his playpen inside the chickenWireFence?
Years later they’d say it was to
Keep out the snakes,
But the trauma was past and present,
He had boldly wandered into realms beyond a childhood safe and simple,
In the Brownie black and white photo he kept,
To remember,
To hope,
To repair,
Kept for his own sake
And proof:
QED

My Princess No Longer

We conquered mighty castles
Together, in blanquette or in the sand
Flew great heights on swings
Soared up Austin hills hand-in-hand

We shared in many battles:
Mastery in the great tragedy of Trigonometry,
Consumed Texas History and First Violin,
And developed a healthy skepticism of Allah and Deuteronomy

Some wars were personal:
The treachery of childhood friends;
While learning great truths—
That the means don’t always justify some ends

But today my princess walks ahead
Out of my guidance and out of my reach
No more to cavort on trampoline
Or harry stubborn castles on a beach

Her fresh adventure awaits—
Arm-in arm with her new young prince,
A meeting of Love and Good Sense;
She hasn’t been my princess since

But our regard hasn’t been stronger
Even if she is my princess no longer

More or Less

More and more
Every day
My childhood sloughs off
All the dandelions are blown away
Less and less
Every night
I long for my true love—
All the possibles have left my sight
Now and again
From space and time
I render a better verse
And words ring in polysynchronous rhyme
Back to the beginning
Let’s pretend
The affairs of Man will make sense
And it all comes out better in the end
More and more
Every day
Our demise ekes ever closer
All the dandelions are blown away

Trust, But Verify

Been here for hours and hours
Think I’m turning blue
But I gotta see, I gotta know
I have to see if it’s true
Staring at the fireplace
Looking for any sign
It’s late late Christmas Eve
But Daddy says it’s fine
Even if I wait all night
For hooves on our roof
But that won’t be even enough
I will need some real proof
Sandman do your worse
But *yawn* you won’ get me
As I gaze at the pretty lights
A-twinkling on our tree

***
Wait! What was that?!
A noise over by the chimney!
No, it’s just that old fat Tom Cat
Playing with tinsel on a whimsy
But *yawn* I feel so very warm
*Yawn* but can’t go to…bed
*Yawn* Sally Jane says he’s not real
That it’s all made up in my…head…

***
Father picked up his Little Lilly
And took her at last to her own warm bed
Missing some soot that trickled down
From the jolly old man who’d just got off his sled

–A reprise from couple years ago:
Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year!

O Yule Of Little Faith

Been here for hours and hours
Think I’m turning blue!
But I gotta see! I gotta know!
I just know that it’s true!

Staring at the fireplace,
Looking for any sign,
It’s late late late Christmas Eve,
But Daddy says it’s fine.

Even if I wait all night
For hooves on our roof
But that won’t be even enough
I’ll need some real proof!

Sandman do your worst,
But *yawn* you won’ get me,
As I gaze at all the pretty lights
A-twinkling on our tree.

Wait! What was that?!
Something by the chimney?
Aww, it’s just that old fat Tom Cat
Playing with tinsel on a whimsy.

But *yawn* I feel so very warm.
*Yawn* but can’t go to…bed.
*Yawn* Sally Jane says he’s not real,
That, it’s all made up…in my…head….

Father smiled and picked up his Little Lilly
To take her at last to her own warm bed,
Missing some soot that trickled down,
When a jolly old man finally leapt off his sled.

–reprised from last year:
Merry Christmas!