Author's Note: I can never resist adding yet another poem or two to the millions that have been/will be written at Christmas. Though mine are often sad-ish, here’s a merry one to the whole group.
In the Library
Because I lost my mother in a crowded department store near Christmas, I understand why my daughter became so frightened today, and why I found her weeping, and wandering the stacks, looking for me when I was only in the restroom. I remember searching all those faces, even the shoes coming down the escalator. I must have thought she’d abandoned me, or died, leaving me all alone in the world, wondering, like my daughter, how we can just disappear so suddenly, when not a single one of all these books has the answer.
The Ghosts of Christmas Passed
It was me they passed in Walmart this morning, first my grandfather, stooped, gray, and ball-capped, his jaw working back and forth as if chewing a cud, or trying to speak. Then a jingling carol overhead summoned my sister, her name that year dying of a brain tumor, and then there was my whole family, the dead, a flock of them, wandering the aisles, ignoring me, squinting instead at the shelves as if searching for something more important. Then even the living became ghosts too, and I was surrounded and all alone, until I looked down at my own hand now clear as glass.
©2021 William Greenway
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