A Holiday Landscape
Across the street, the family
Is packing up their car with many multicolored suitcases.
They're flying to Florida
Next door, Mr. Smith
Falls off the ladder.
He was putting up Christmas lights…
And here comes the ambulance.
Outside, a shower of snow
Falls off the tree
To protest against the dog who is fertilizing them.
Inside the nondescript house
All is warm; all is panicked.
They need to do some last minute shopping,
And sneaking presents and hiding them
From prying eyes
Is a very difficult business indeed.
It is later now; it is morning on the 25th.
The house across the street is empty.
We think they are very lonely out in the Tropics.
Next door, a group of carolers
Have paid a visit to Mr. Smith
Outside the window of his sickroom.
A shoe flies out and chases them away.
The shower of snow continues,
And a little girl—
Bundled up and very uncomfortable—
Sticks out her tongue and catches one flake
Of snow. She thinks it tastes
Almost like sugar.
Inside the house, there are shrieks
Of delight. Pitter patter goes their
Footsteps, knocking us down
From our resting places.
Crash! Oops, there goes another one of us.
He was a loyal friend.
But now…now, look!
They are happy…so happy.
More than the presents; more than the stuff.
It is the warmth in this house, and
They think there is no place better than it.
It is later now.
The family across the street has returned…
They are grumbling about sunburn
In the third degree.
They do look rather roasted.
Mr. Smith is taking down the twinkling lights.
We bid them goodbye—at least, until next year.
The branches outside are devoid of snow.
The dog is happy; he marks his territory
The little girl is not so much,
And she pouts up at the blue
Inside, the younger members of the house
Are determinedly making their way through
The stack of presents.
We are being taken down now;
The scent of pine is sharp in our nonexistent
Ah well. All for the best, we suppose.
And the last of us is being put in the box
As we are lovingly packed away.
Until next year, then.
Yes, until then we will sleep,
And wait for next year when the family across the street
Decides to go skiing in the Alps instead,
And Mr. Smith doesn't break his leg
(But burns the turkey)
And this warm little house
Will unpack us again
So we can watch over everybody…
Watch them smile...
Nay, watch them live.