The Day Before
It was Christmas Eve
And he didn't come
He didn't come home
He wouldn't get home in time.
He was working,
He lived with us but I barely knew him,
Didn't understand who he was,
Someone called Daddy.
But I was just a lttle kid
And it was Christmas Eve.
He won't come in time, said mother,
He's at work,
Perhaps a Christmas party there,
Who knows what he does
But at 3 pm on Christmas Eve
He did come,
And took me out to buy presents.
We went to every store,
We bought things in every one.
The sad twinkling Christmas lights were exhausted
After twinkling so long that season.
The stores were half empty,
Untidy and ravaged looking,
Weary sales ladies stood with aching feet
But we found our gifts.
Then he took me to the market
We visited the antique section first,
In awe of all the teasures there.
Then we walked in the road along the market
Amid all the empty boxes and the garbage,
All the faded Christmas wrappings.
The cold dark evening was closing in,
A light sleet was falling,
Only the brave or the desperate
Ot the orphaned
Would be out shopping by then.
Vacant eyed carol singers
Stood singing on the corner,
The sad refrains about a melancholy birth
Drifted down the echoing streets.
The market stalls were all closing and folding,
Retail was dead on Christmas Eve.
But we found things,
My father and I,
He took my hand and led me
And as we shuffled, shivering through the mess,
We found everything,
We found each other . . . .