A Family Christmas

Sitting in front of the fire, Auntie Flo's reciting a story,
it's one about her first Christmas as a newly wed,
the same one she broadcasts every year,
but no one is listening.

Uncle Fred, 'out to the world' snores rhythmically
on the sofa.

Mother exhausted, having cooked the lunch,
without help, as usual,
stifles a yawn.

Dad, brow furrowed, is trying to piece together
Eddy's lego set,
whilst Eddy glowers,
after all, it was 'his' present.

Joe, playing with a set of 'disco lights'
is sending flashes of colour across the room,
straight into Grandpa's eyes,
making him feel even more bilious
after having consumed too many chocolates.

Grandma's knitting.
Grandma always knits on Christmas Day,
and every other day, come to that,
probably yet another scarf for what she believes is
still the war effort.

The cat, curled up on her lap, purrs contently,
oblivious of the knitting needles, waving precariously
in front of his sleepy eyes.

Susan is gazing at the TV screen, .
glued, for the umpteenth time to, 'The Sound of Music' movie,
singing every song, word for word,
at the top of her voice.

'Turkey was nice', said Auntie,
'I was given too much', moaned Grandpa, belching loudly.
'Your problem is, you never can refuse a second helping', said Grandma, 'so it's your own fault'.

Mother grins and asks,
'Would anybody like another mince pie? '

by Ernestine Northover

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