(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

Christmas Conversion

I can see her in the kitchen,
Apron on and sleeves rolled up,
Measurin' spices in a teaspoon,
Figs and raisins in a cup.

Now she's throwin' apple quarters
In that wooden bowl of hers,
'Long with lemon peel and orange,
An' she stirs, an' stirs, an' stirs.

Then she takes her knife an' chops it,
Chops so fast her hand jest flies.
Now I know what ma is up to-
Makin' mincemeat for the pies.

I smell Christmas in our kitchen,
An' my heart gets big an' glad,
An' I, somehow, fall to wishin',
That I wasn't quite so bad.

An' I tell myself I'll never
Cheat at marbles any more,
Nor make faces at my teacher,
Nor hang round the corner store

'Stead of goin' on my errands;
Never touch the cookie pail,
Nor play hooky an' go skatin',
Nor tie cans on Rover's tail;

Never let ma think it's spellings
When it's only Robin Hood.
With the gladness comes the wishin'
To be, oh, just awful good!

'Bout this time of year it takes me-
Pa, he doesn't understand,
Always says: 'You sly young codger,
You know Christmas is at hand.'

But it isn't that, it's something-
Can't explain it very well-
Takes me when ma fills the kitchen
With this juicy Christmas smell.

When she chops the spice an' raisins,
With the peels an' Northern Spies,
Sleeves rolled up above her elbows,
Makin' mincemeat for the pies.

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