A Christmas Poem for Jackie

It hangs always on my wall.
Scant attention paid, it is important.
A cousin made it last year to compensate my own forgetfulness.
This yule it is my chosen stocking.

The first green precursors of love have wrought
From what was once a bedsheet
A symbol.
Roughly foot-shaped, it bears my name.

Mother stifled spontaneity perhaps,
A stubborn, innocent sense of what should be,
And little fingers, caring to please.

Here is Christmas,
Santa Claus come home.
Before its light
The grinch in me must smile.

What have I to offer in return, young cousin?
Just this. Some scrawl you have no use for.
But from my heart it tries to match
The sewn linen that hangs always on my life.


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