Well, me’n Rose t’other night
loaded up all our gifts and drove over to
her brother’s sister-in-law’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.
First time we’d been there, but we didn’t get lost —
second house on the left off Jones Ferry Road, on the water side.
Nice house. Big pine wreaths all over the place.
Little candles in the windows. Real tasteful.
I was afraid to track mud in the house,
so me’n Rose used the back door.
I thought only salesmen, the preacher, and company
used the front door,
but we evidently didn’t qualify as family or friends,
since they got upset at our coming in thru the kitchen.
So they made a big point of showing us to the front of the house,
so’s we could traipse through, admiring the antiques,
and the drapes, and how everything was so tasteful.
They even had a tree with all these little crystal icicles all over it,
the kind of tree that glistens and shimmers in the light.
The kind you don’t want to touch, you just want to look at.
We all had a good time, a little stiff and formal,
but real friendly.
Driving home Rose’n me was talking in the car.
She was telling me how she’d gone off to find a bathroom,
and wandered into the family room.
I found another Christmas tree, a real one,
one that looked like every single ornament, every single paper chain,
that every single kid ever made,
was saved, and wrapped, and treasured,
and put on this very private tree.”
Funny, how some people
keep their love and joy hidden, private,
so nobody can see it, or touch it, or feel it.