My Christmas Poem, y’all

“I want to know everything about you, so I tell you everything about myself.”

– Amy Hempel

Until I realized that almost no one read it (see recent WSJ article Bring on the Holiday Letters), I used to write and send out a Christmas poem every year, and I (rather) miss* doing it.

So, inspired by the Journal author’s words that holiday letters (for me, poems) have a of “seasonal warmth,” and her reminders that they

“…bring us together in a way that our relentless digital connections cannot…represent tradition in a world that discards traditions too quickly…and they require real effort and thought: Somebody took the time to write them.” (emphasis mine)

…here’s my latest:

The kids are all grown; the house, empty, almost –
No more lunches to make, no more bagels to toast.
They’re all doing their thing; my job raising them’s done –
And for me and my husband, the fun’s just begun.
 
Around les enfants, my world used to revolve.
When ma fille was twelve, I found a nouvelle resolve:
I sat down to write books, and I ceased to write verse
For my “holiday letter” – of it, I would disperse.
 
“Who would miss it?” I thought. Just a relative**  few.
All the others would not; from them, I took my cue.
So I focused my brain on a lofty ambition:
“Why not write a whole novel?” That was my admonition.
 
“You can do it!” I said to myself. “You have time;
For a break, you can always come up with a rhyme.
When you hear and see things, you are constantly thinking:
‘That would be a good scene! Or way, with them, for linking.’
 
“Yes, I know it takes months – sometimes YEARS – but, once finished,
You can start a new project, no right-brain cells diminished.
And then, hopefully, readers will love what you’ve written.
Those at home, and in places like France and Great Britain!”
 
So, not knowing if I would succeed or would fail,
I began to create, it became my travail. 
It’s ‘ton boulot,’ a French friend expressed, when I asked.
(That means ‘job.’) And with that, it’s what I am self-tasked.
 
Au même temps, I chose, fluency, to re-attain
in French, la langue stored somewhere inside of my brain.
I commenced with a course that I’m still taking now
And I’ve risen in level, and at times, I know how
 
To think en français; it occurs more and more
When I don’t think about it – then, my “puzzler” gets sore.
I have much more to learn, and to write. But I’m glad
That two books, I have published, and that they can be had
 
On your tablet or, if you’re old-fashioned, in hand.
You can give them as gifts, put them on your nightstand.
I am writing “Book Three” – it will be out next year;
And to you, I wish holidays full of good cheer! 
 
* I just like to smile write. Smiling’s Writing’s my favorite.
** One relative in particular did…
 photo 2

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