"The Christmas Song"

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas
little treelittle tree
by e e cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look: the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

Xmas Tree
Excerpts from
christmas teaChristmas Tea
by Tom Hegg

A week before Christmas,
I got a note from my old great Aunt.
It read: "Of course I'll understand
Completely if you can't,
But if you find you have some time
How wonderful it would be
If we could have a little chat
And share a cup of Christmas tea."

She'd had a mild stroke that year
Though house-bound now, my folks had said
It hadn't hurt her pride.
They said: She'd love to see you.
What a nice thing it would be,
For you to go and maybe have a cup of Christmas tea.

Boy! I didn't want to go.
Oh, what a bitter pill.
To see an old relation
And how far she'd gone downhill.

I drove in from the suburbs
To the older part of town.
The pastels of the newer homes
Gave way to gray and brown.
How I got up to her door
I really couldn't tell...
I watched my hand rise up
And press the button of the bell.

I waited, aided by my nervous rocking to and fro
And just as I was thinking I should turn around and go,
I heard the rattle of the china in the hutch against the wall
The triple beat of two feet and a crutch came down the hall.

She stood there pale and tiny,
Looking fragile as an egg.
I forced myself from staring
At the brace that held her leg.
And though her thick bifocals
Seemed to crack and spread her eyes,
Their milky and refracted depths
Lit up with young surprise.

"Come in! Come in!"
She laughed the words.
She took me by the hand
And all my fears dissolved away
As if by her command.
We went inside and then before
I knew how to react,
Before my eyes and ears and nose
Was Christmas past: alive, intact!

Christmas Tea
The scent of candied oranges, of cinnamon and pine,
The antique wooden soldiers in their military line,
The porcelain Nativity I'd always loved so much,
The Dresden and the crystal I'd been told I mustn't touch.

Christmas Past

Like magic I was six again, deep in a Christmas spell
Steeped in the million memories the child inside knew well.
And here among old Christmas cards so lovingly displayed,
A special place of honor for the ones we kids had made.
And there, beside her rocking chair,the center of it all
My great Aunt stood and said how nice it was
That I had come to call.

Defying the reality of crutch and straightened knee
On wings of hospitality she flew to brew the tea.
I sat alone with feelings that I hadn't felt in years.
I looked around at Christmas through a thick hot blur of tears.

And the candles and the holly she'd arranged on every shelf;
The impossibly good cookies she still somehow baked herself.
These rich and tactile memories became quite pale and thin
When measured by the Christmas my great Aunt kept deep within.

Her body halved and nearly spent, my old great Aunt was whole.
I saw a Christmas miracle, the triumph of a soul.

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