A snow blower at maximum throttle
has no cyclonic edge
on a happy quintet of grandkids
assaulting a stack of presents.
Cameras snap and flash to preserve
the blizzard of paper and bows
heaped like snow drifts on the floor
and each new treasure's explored
even while paper continues to fly.
Little Grace repeatedly extracts and installs
a pair of pink shoes on her cabbage patch doll
that for the season is named Gabrielle.
Stephen buzzes the room with a bright wooden plane.
and Nathanael has formed a permanent bond
with his new red and black locomotive.
Michael, who serves as patron saint
to his kid baby sister Grace,
allows her to crawl in giggling beside him
to share in the warmth of his quilt.
Tyler sits curled with a Karate book
with earnest plans to master each move.
(So if you’re planning to mess with Tyler,
get it done before he turns twelve) .
Then Stephen hands over his red recorder
requesting a song, “mucus grandpa.”
I pipe out a chorus of “Deck the Halls”
and follow with “Jingle Bells.”
Then the dinner call sounds and we
pile our plates with beef and potatoes
and no one seems to mind at all
that Nathanael has brought
his beloved new train
to keep by his side at the table.
Christmas day, 2007