In a sense
we never really come to terms with loss;
we just find a spot to park it;
like a bus station locker, then
we lose the key.
‘Twas a month before Christmas, when all through our place
There were no decorations, not even a trace.
The stores in the town were a tinselly mess
Of garlands and lights and ho-ho-ho-ness;
And stocking stuffers nestled all snug on their racks
For something ninety-five each, plus tax.
And we in our work clothes resumed our fixation
On building a deck and home renovations.
And we knew as we worked that the homes of our friends
Were beginning to sparkle with holiday gems.
Their window with LED lights were aglow
In their doorways hung clusters of bold mistletoe.
Their homes smelled of cranberry, spice, and scotch pine
While the fragrance of paint and paint thinner graced mine.
Away to the rec room we flew like two fools
We stowed all the paint, we packed up the tools.
We vacuumed the sawdust, me and my spouse,
Till instead of a workshop, it looked like a house
The refurbished dining room light fixture’s glow
Gave a lustre of midday to the laminate below.
Then off to the storage shed out back I trekked
And exhumed all the boxes marked “Christmas dec.”
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But bins full of tinsel and holiday cheer.
What sorting, what cleaning, what awing and oohing.
What fond reminiscing, what hot gun gluing.
The fragrance of spruce soon replaced the Pine-sol
As I pulled out the cookbook, the apron and all;
More rapid than Martha I baked and I iced
And we put up the garland and then, in a trice,
We invited our friends to help trim the tree
To kick off our plunge into merriment-ry.
As our friends and relations join us this year
We will all raise a glass of good Christmas cheer
And toast to the season, it goes by so fast;
Toast to the memory of Christmases past.
And wish that the goodwill could cancel the strife
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.
One thing that I’ve never understood
is people saying that I’ve got it good
just because there’s someone somewhere else
who is so much worse off than myself.
Really? Is it supposed to cheer me up
that ‘though it’s empty I still have a cup?
Am I supposed to look around and savour
the fact that my life’s better than my neighbour?
Does my pain or sadness just not count?
Since when does empathy take to account
the relative degree of one’s despair
before bestowing simple ‘there, there, theres’?
When a person’s down upon their luck
comparative compassion kind of sucks.
On reading labels…
If ingredients are so hard to pronounce
that you can’t get your tongue around
them, then chances are good
that this isn’t food
and it doesn’t belong in your mouth.
…research shows that 77% of accident related injuries happen in the home…
A scalded hand while draining the pasta
a cut on your thumb from a broken glass, a
broken toe from stumbling into the door jamb (you weren’t wearing slippers!).
A wrenched shoulder reaching for cans
on a high shelf, losing your balance
and falling off rickety ladders, (welcome to the broken hippers).
A sprained knee and a spasming back
slipping on floors you recently waxed
and developing a nervous tick (trepidation starts to fill me).
Now here I stand at the top of the stairs
perhaps it’s time to whisper a prayer
to the Gods who protect klutzes like me (‘cos my home is trying to kill me).
The desire to delineate our territory
is a basic urge.
From the craving to carve a cave
into a safe haven
to the ensuing need to paint on walls
to proclaim all our deeds and
affirm our existence to the world.
And so, when it comes time to share
the cave with those we care to save
from the wolves we struggle with
the old imperatives, temper the
declaratives with the wisdom of
time spent risking co-existence
and becoming human.
Craving, need, compulsion, impulse