Inspired by the rain, tears, and my feelings on the holidays.

Cardboard Christmas

why daddy?
a little girl cries
why didn't he come, daddy?
and every daddy is breaking his heart
as he tries to explain to the emotional wreck of a five-year-old girl
that Santa can't come down the chimney of a cardboard box
but, oh god,
you know that inside he's whispering
baby, I'm sorry
I'm sorry for everything that I've put you through
and all the life I'm making you miss
and all the childhood that you could never buy back,
because eBay doesn't sell memories and I can't change the past
as she cries into his shoulder

a nine-year-old stares stotic at the sad remains of a tree
and asks
why daddy?
why did mommy leave?
as he tries to explain that mommy's in a better place, getting help for her
but the nine-year-old's not believing a word
and December's going fast and her hope is slowly dwindling
for a white Christmas

the girl is twelve and she doesn't say a word
he looks on the pitiful meal that barely gets them to tomorrow,
but will be eight times what they eat for the next week
she doesn't need to say anything because her eyes tell the story
and they are screaming
why daddy?
just the same as that five-year-old
only Christmas doesn't exist anymore and this is just a struggle to get by

he only wants to go back and tell that five-year-old
that Santa's workshop burned down or he caught pnemonia
or anything
to keep her hope alive,
if only for one more year
and she's just there,
a sad existence still crying in that same five-year-old voice

why daddy?