On Christmas Eve
The stockings stuck up, the cookies all cooked,
We boys sat cozy in the dinner nook
And wondered aloud if maybe we’d hear
Santa Claus’ sleigh bells and flying reindeer.
My brothers had both made their Christmas lists
And promptly mailed north their hoped for gifts
Not me. I had waited. Procrastinated.
I’d forgot I said that I’d do it later.
My father said teasing, “Better be good,”
“Or I’ll wave Santa past our neighborhood
And tell him to keep on flying straight south.”
O’s big as oceans in our open mouths.
Brushed teeth and pajamas, tucked in with kissed heads
My brothers sleeping, but I’m awake in bed
Because I still had not made Santa my list.
I’d been extra good! What a sucky twist.
I prayed and hoped Santa would hear the sound.
Maybe Jesus would help, if he was around
But I didn’t know if the two were friends
And hoped, tonight, they could at least pretend.
Quiet house, under a blanket of snow.
I really tried to sleep, but I did know
That of all my childhood’s awful mistakes
This was the worst. And I lay, awake.