A Holiday Landscape

Across the street, the family

Is packing up their car with many multicolored suitcases.

They're flying to Florida

This afternoon.

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

Without interference.

The little girl is not so much,

And she pouts up at the blue

Winter sky.

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

Noses.

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.


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