Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yeah, it's too late for Christmas poems, and this one's kinda sappy, but I don't write poetry often, composing this when family visited back in December. It doesn't have a title, though a couple have been suggested (my sister-in-law offered "Three Nieces" as a possibility).  Your suggestions are welcome.

Confession: Although I work with kids, and have done so for years, I still feel awkward around them, and the dancing mentioned in the poem below does not come from any place of talent on my part, but because it's just one way I know of to entertain the youngest ones still small enough to be carried and who like to crazy dizzy sense of flying that whirling and dipping can bring. Hey, I used to love it when a grownup would lift me up and let me "play airplane" by swinging me in a wide circle.

So, here goes.

Jennifer is taller now
than the artificial Christmas tree
I sold at a yard sale in July,
and Rachel has a sweet voice
she uses in long conversations
that only she can understand.
As for Sarah, she is small,
barely begun, a life unexplored,
with wide eyes and a serious stare.
This is her first Christmas here
on Earth, but the only gifts I have
for her are love and hugs and laughs
and maybe dancing around
the kitchen, holding her in my arms,
making up the music as we
twirl and step and bump into
the fridge then swing 'round and start again
in a family tradition
begun when Jennifer first
was small and loved to dance to silly
tunes and giggle and call for more.
Rachel, too, still likes to dance,
but she hops on her own sturdy feet
and runs in circles through the house
or down the hall, chattering,
screaming in false fright then in laughter,
a merry whirlwind that rarely
pauses, but sometimes snuggles
close, blanket-wrapped like a babushka.
Jenn, taller than the Christmas tree,
reads books, writes poems, her words
dancing though her feet so rarely do.
Yet we dance however we may--
it's Christmas-time with family,
the warmest time, the coldest day.

c. December 2010, KB

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