Every year when everyone gets involved in Christmas shopping for presents for all, I like to repost two of my favorite Christmas storoems:
The Garden Statue
The garden statue catches his eye.
It is ordinary – gray plaster, two feet tall,
but it is something he feels compelled to buy;
although for doing so, he has no explanation at all.
The statue is an angel, standing, head lowered,
a solemn look upon her face, cradling some object
lovingly to her chest. At first he puts her with stored
items, but later displays her in the yard – the subject
of complaint from his wife. “Sitting at the kitchen table,
that thing will be prominently in view. I don’t like it much.”
“It seems to belong there. I don’t know if I will ever be able
to explain. It intrigues me. The angel herself is cast with such
exquisite details – the feathers in her wings, the curls of hair,
her facial features, the flow of her garment -- all these are so
sharply defined. Yet the object she clutches is not. There
is no way to tell what it is…but I sense that I should know.”
The statue stands for weeks out in the December cold.
He studies her daily as he drinks his morning coffee.
It seems to speak to him, but the message remains untold.
There is something there…what he simply cannot see.
The house is filled with family staying for the holiday.
On Christmas morning, he gets out of bed at 6 a.m.
Enjoying his coffee, the first rays of dawn in a strange way
illuminate the garden statue. That is when he sees them.
The angel has her head held high, with a smile beaming.
She holds in outstretched arms a boy child plain to see.
Coffee spilling, he runs to the window, and stands looking
with wonder when he hears the others clamoring for it to be
time to see what Santa brought and to open presents for all.
He calls, but no one is interested. He goes to tell them
of the statue. Presents, presents, lavish ones, large and small,
consume their interest. Chances of interesting them are slim.
He returns to the kitchen to gaze upon the statue once more.
The angel stands head bowed, sad, appearing now as before.
Her Christmas Wish List
Her shabby clothes a size too small,
the six-year-old girl is being subjected
to disapproving looks. She cares not at all.
To her talking with Santa, none has objected.
The line to sit in Santa’s lap is quite long.
This upscale mall is doing brisk business.
Some parents whispering she doesn’t belong
with their kids doesn’t dampen her eagerness.
One after another, each recites their wish list
to Santa. “I want a bike, a computer game,
a TV for my room. I want … Now don’t miss
anything on my list. I want …” Ever the same.
The little girl’s turn has finally come.
All smiles, she crawls into the big man’s lap.
She talks softly to him. They talk until some
mother, filled with modern holiday spirit, snaps
“Hurry up, Santa! Why are you giving her so
much time?” Santa takes a list from her hand,
kisses her cheek, sends her away smiling. “No
more now. Santa’s on a break.” A security man,
assigned to protect Santa, follows him into
the break room. Tears are wetting Santa’s
synthetic beard. “This is one list I intend to
see filled! 'Gimme. Gimme' is the mantra
"that I hear all day every day from child after child.
This sweet girl lives in a homeless shelter downtown.
Her list has winter clothes, a few toys to bring smiles
to some kids who last year by Santa weren’t found.”
The guard: “Were some new clothes for her one thing
on her list?” “For herself she asked for absolutely nothing.”
Holiday Cheer to All!