Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas in July

                 Christmas in July

Christmas is coming.
I’m just not ready.
Do you think maybe we could postpone it this year?
Combine it with July the 4th?
I don’t think Jesus would care.
His real birthday’s debatable anyway.
It’s too close to Thanksgiving.
Those left-overs aren’t going to keep.
On the 25thI’ll have to do it all over again.

The merchants will all be happy.
They could put out Christmas trees right after Easter.
The kids will be out of school
Families could combine summer vacations
with the holiday trip to Grandma’s.
Think of the gas that would save

We will decorate the house in red, white and blue
with blow-up Santas and Thom Jeffersons on the lawn.
Well, maybe not old Thom…not in Texas anyway,
the Board of Education might object.
Let’s have life-size Mary and Josephs waving flags
over Baby Jesus in the cradle,
an inflated John Adams as a Wise Man
bringing his Enlightenment.
That would shake up government and religion.
We could use him now.
Wise Man #2, Ben Franklin, leaning on a cane
holds a kite for the baby.
Hope he’s careful with that…
There’s an angel on the roof with a copper halo.
We’ll depend on Wise Man John Hancock
to import a Yankee Candle of frankincense
or maybe a bottle of Fabreze.
Those armadillos can leave a mess.

The kids will stay up late the night before
with their iPhones tracking Paul Revere and Santa.
Several beers past dinner,
at midnight, jingle bells and trumpets blasting,
Dad in red pajamas, a 3-cornered hat
will stagger down the stairs shouting
“Merry Christmas. The British are coming.”

We will put 50 stars upon the tree,
one for every state.
Kids will be asked to name them
before they get a gift.
We will pass around the presents
throw wrappings to the floor
laugh and cry,
wear reindeer horns, 3-cornered hats,
sing Silent Night, the Star-Spangled Banner
salute the flag once more.

Santa will ride in the front of the parade
throw candy from a fire engine.
High school bands will march,
mix Jingle Bells with John Phillips Souza.
The mayor dressed like George W,
Washington, that is, will smile
send holiday greetings along the way
as he waves the Stars and Stripes.
With little kids on bikes, bringing up the rear
is Sarah Palin on a reindeer,
tea-cup on her head,
rifle in her hand,
touting family values,
singing “I’m getting pay-aid to this,
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching“.

After the parade, Grandma sinking in her chair
with a pitcher of Margaritas,
will watch the kids play in the sprinkler,
throw water everywhere.
Grandpa will grill some hot dogs, fry the turkey
gripe about the mess.
There’ll be cornbread dressing, corn right off the cob,
green bean casserole, fried onions on the top,
Key Lime pie instead of pumpkin
Homemade Vanilla ice cream, Blue Bell‘s best.
We will drink more wine as the sun goes down
pile out onto the dock,
help tipsy Grandma find her glasses,
watch the fire works on the lake,
call it good, this Christmas in July.

God Bless America and Happy Holidays everyone.

                                                                            Kay L. Cox, Dec., 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010



An idea came to me
for a little poem? a poem?
That's good-I say-stay, let us talk.
You have to tell me more about yourself.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Oh, that-I say-that is interesting.
These matters have long been at my heart.
But to write a poem about them? No, certainly not.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
It only seems to you-I reply-
you overestimate my strength and my gifts.
I wouldn't even know where to start.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
You are mistaken-I say-a short, concise poem
is much harder to write than one that is long.
Don't torment me, don't insist, for it won't work.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Well, okay, I will try, since you're so stubborn.
But I must warn you what the outcome will be.
I will write, rip it up and throw it out.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
You are right-I say-there are still other poets.
Some of them will do this better than me.
I can give you the names, the addresses.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Yes, certainly, I will be jealous of them.
We're jealous of each other's poems, even when they're weak.
And this one probably should . . . perhaps it must have. . .
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
That's right, it must have the features that you named.
And so let's change the subject.
Would you like some coffee?

To which it only sighed.

And started to disappear.

And disappeared.

              Wislawa Szymborska