Dad’s Presents

Fresh pine
And the scent of a wood-burning fire I would build

Baked nuts and cookies
And fresh-baked breads Mom set aside for breakfast

The silence of the morning was my favorite thing
Then, the glitter of white fairy-lights sparkling upon the tree
The plethora of gifts spilling out far into the room
Assured me all was well with Dad and Mom, who were up late, playing Santa

Fat stockings hung upon the mantle
Each tagged for us to find
And all I wanted, through my youth
Was this quiet, alone-time

The best part of this Christmas morn
Was knowing we would see
Mom sitting, tired, in a chair
And Dad beside the tree

He was almost sad, when he would find he’d reached the last few gifts
And I was sad to know, each time, how far from them I must have drifted
It wasn’t that I wanted much
It wasn’t that I was greedy
But every box I opened was the reinforced belief
That even here, amidst a family so large, I was only known by Stacey

I’d set aside the boxes and help clean up all the wrappings
Relinquish my joy to Christmas lunch, with the expected trappings
Cheese and crackers, nuts, preserves and vegetables galore
All my favorite foods and snacks I could munch on and adore
While in the family room, all day, Dad played his favorite Christmas songs
And all I wanted in the world was Dad’s presence, all day long

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