Ghosts of Christmas

They politely exercise their prero

-gatives by     sitting on our beds

when we crack open an urgent

eye to begin the day. They come

to us in each piece of wrapping 

paper and gift, the stockings on

the mantelpiece breaking open

wounds and joys and hurts and 

crazy memories of floundering

————

in snow, or singing hymns in

a cold church, with a blowing

organ reviving the hearts and

hearing their voices we may be

gladdened or grown disturbed.

—————

They are there in the mince pies

and tight waist bands, the sixpence

in the pudding or watching from

the tree where the wrinkled tinsel

is worn thin with long use. By the

———–

glass of wine another one waits

and smiles at the champagne, for

those bubbles are surely as old

as the hills, and blind us to every

old ill; that comes with those thin

faces from yesterday’s Christmases.

They seldom stay long; but enough

to raise merry memories, or of a 

heart burnt in the flames, not of 

candles, 

but

of life’s random acts of cruelty.