Times Of Change

The fists pounded on every door in the home,
The pads of their feet, rhythmic, as the two boys roam.

“What did Santa bring me?” the littlest red head exclaimed.
“Stupid, Santa aien’t real,” his brother retorted, attitude mostly untamed.

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“Neither is the word, aien’t,” corrected the boys’ father,
Stress drawn deep across his pressed blue collar.

“And we don’t say stupid, in this family,”
Grandmother retorted, seated and watched the calamity.

Now, the blue haired boy pushed his brother out of the way,
No special exception of kindness made for this day.

He lunged for the tree, crushing gifts labelled for another.
“Gimme mine first!” paper torn off and thrown at his brother.

Not a glance at the tag before his greedy snide comments,
“It’d better be an iPad,” he hissed, ignoring his own delinquents.

But a grumble emitted as he realized the gift below,
“Velveteen Rabbit!” he spat the book title, with a disgusting show.

“Nobody reads books anymore,” he wailed and threw it with a thump,
Thump, thump, bump, bump.

She was sure it was Santa Claus, since she had been good all year,
Chores done to help Mama, and not a complaint said to her ear.

Whispered, “She mustn’t mind, if I take a peak,”
As she snuck down the stairs, praying the boards wouldn’t creak.

Her father off at war, Mama worked all night,
To keep the home fire lit, warm and bright.

The tree purchased with the girl’s newspaper money,
She worked daily and had saved every single, strained penny.

Mama tried her best to make this a grand holiday,
Even over minimal meals, she would always thank and pray.

Not for the color, shape or price of the present,
But the gift, itself, from love, grace and commitment.

The girl’s toes tipped light and she found her gift with ease,
The paper folded neat, she removed it with not a crease.

“Velveteen Rabbit!” she whispered in awe,
Of the brown wispy bunny on the cover of the novel.

With Skin Horse and Tin Toys, who only wanted to be real,
To make it so, was from a boy to love, to really feel.

The book’s pages wore thin, ragged and old,
The little girl read it daily, she never let it go.

“Grandmother!”

She blinked her eyes, coming back to this day now,
Tears of times past, brimming the eyes of this old gal.

Her grandson, with red hair, so curly on top,
Brown eyes centred with freckles, there certainly were a lot!

He picked up the book, from where it had fell,
Sat next to her, his enthusiasm, a miracle.

He held the story up and smiled to implore,
“Read it to me Grandmother? I’d love to hear more.”

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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