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,

Always working,

My father.

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

And where?

But at 3 pm on Christmas Eve

He did come,

He came

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 . . . .

◄ Kenny And Arthur

The Stranger ►

Comments

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 5th Jan 2018 04:05

Beautifully told with such a satisfying last line. Loved it!

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Hannah Collins

Sat 23rd Dec 2017 17:31

Thank you Laura.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 20th Dec 2017 10:41

Perfect last line

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Hannah Collins

Mon 18th Dec 2017 21:16

Thank you Martin, it's exactly how I saw it, dark and faded, yet somewhere a treasure.

Hannah

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Hannah Collins

Mon 18th Dec 2017 21:14

Thank you Fred for your great comment.

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Fred Varden

Mon 18th Dec 2017 21:00

Great poem Hannah. Can do much relate to this except I continued to wait as he NEVER turned up. I didn’t know mine even though he was there some of the time. Brings back memories and by your description I could almost smell each scene, and feel the atmosphere. Tremendous, thank you.😀

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Martin Elder

Mon 18th Dec 2017 20:58

really loved the way you described the tiredness of Christmas eve amid all the anticipation of what ahs been together with all the terrible hype. fabulous poem

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