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A Christmas Day ©

Paul Murdoch
Alexandria, Scotland
2004

Their hearts race on as darkness still entwines the Christmas dawn,
The bed clothes fall and tiny yelps of joy announce the morn.
No time to yawn, or stretch or groan; no time to check the clock,
As stocking yarn is stretched and teased, we hear a plaintive knock.

"Oh look what Santa left last night!" They can't believe their eyes,
As we, still trying to focus, shrink back from wondrous cries.
They bounce upon the covers and make it hard to see,
The tawny, flashing digits that say 'it's half past three!'

"Get back to bed! For pity's sake, we've only shut our eyes!"
But threats and accusations can't stifle their surprise,
So bleary-eyed we try to smile, ungracious in defeat,
Our wooden hearts soon splinter 'neath tiny running feet.

A small stampede upon the stairs, a rush to reach the tree,
Where magic lights and small delights are laid for you and me.
The tinsel trails and plastic rails adorn the festive sight,
Of shredded paper mountains, this yuletide-spangled night.

And soon it's time to breakfast on chocolate covered signs,
Of baby child, and mother mild, so far from hearts and minds.
True meanings of the morning star, the crib, and manger too,
Are lost beneath the glitter-dusted dreams of me and you.

We smile at one another, unable to contain,
The happiness revealed, unwrapped, exposed in Christ's own name.
The camera's flash, a sudden dash, when one more trinket's found,
Amongst the piles of debris that stifle Winter's sound.

The light is teased from rain clouds, which gave up all their snow,
Now dreary-grey they falter, in dreams of long ago,
When snowflakes danced upon the cheeks of every lowly child,
When 'shepherds watched their flocks by night' still drifted down the aisle.

Words crackle on the airwaves; we're drawn from God's own day,
To fantasise and visualise; our senses led astray.
The robin's song, perennial dawn is smothered by our plight,
Escaping hordes switch on and douse the rays of God's own light.

Soon clicking of the keyboard keys is all that we can hear,
As we prepare the tinfoil-tested tribute to the turning of the year.
A token jaunt to chapel; a gesture in itself,
A moment to reflect upon our decadence and wealth.

Then soon it's time for brandies and greeting long lost friends,
Our family ties now realised, "Will this day never end?"
'Mongst Xmas songs and regal throngs, we stuff ourselves with glee,
Then in some karaoke-trance, we crumple to our knees.

As Christmas night nostalgia still dances in our head,
As Eric draws the curtains and Ernie makes the bed.
We smile at one another and laze beside the fire,
And thank the Lord for Christmas cheer, which resurrects desire.

Appreciating all we have and all we'll ever be,
The message soon becomes so clear beneath the scented tree.
We have each other, here and now, so let us always wish,
That we may have another day, as blessed and sweet as this.



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