’tis the season

November 28, 2008

i am devastated.
we brought up the Christmas decorations
today, we started to
put up the tree
and when my mother took the lid
off of one of the boxes,
we discovered the hard way
that it had a crack in the bottom
the floods this summer
weren’t merciful;
everything in the box was
destroyed
and the worst of the worst
in a falling-apart, mildewed package
with a washed out card
in my long-dead grandmother’s handwriting
we found what was left of
a cloth nativity set, a gift when
i was too young to stand
ruined
it’s not the nativity; i’ve never been much
for religion anyway
it’s that those little cloth figures
where what i had left of my grandma
every year, taking out the box
and setting it up under the Christmas tree
and moving the wise men a bit closer each day
knowing that someday
my children would play with it, too
small damp fingers curled around
a sleeping Jesus, a beautiful Mary, a protective Joseph
i couldn’t stop myself from crying
even though they’re only figures,
only material things
it still hurts.

edit:
i just found the pattern and the fabric on ebay
so i’m trying to buy them;
i think in its own way, stitching up
the figures myself
will make up for the loss
perhaps i can even
add my own special card
to a brand new box
and my grandmother’s gift will live on.

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One Response to “’tis the season”


  1. I’m sorry sweetie…I’m sure your grandmother would be pleased that you’re making your own set.


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