Even on Christmas day
Several needs lie ungratified, like stray dogs with
hungry bellies whose empty spaces are frozen
by the bitter winter chill; mercifully though.
There’s this man who lives alone just next door,
middle-aged and widower or something like that.
You would think he can’t but it’s actually affordable to his payroll;
life size rosemary-and-fresh-cinnamon seasoned turkey
prepared per excellence for the big day.
What he cannot find is another life, well, companion
to share the prized meal.
The delivery man says hi, but his goodbye follows soon after.
Even on Christmas day,
as Santas with mercury-shine big black boots
some huge, some stout, knock at doors,
that soul-tugging squeal of pure delight by the five year old
as he receives the square shaped gift box, striped by red and white ribbons.
Santa’s fuel is exhausted before certain children are gifted.
Even on Christmas day
some streets stay unchecked.
Like ours, they are inhabited by people whose kids
will rather sleep through Christmas to savour Santa in their dreams.
Their old see visions of him.
A season whose essence is salvation, love, you before me.
I sit on my rocking chair with a cigar in hand
and enjoy the creak melody of every movement of mine.
This chair is aged, just as I am.
I watch these kids attempt to capture the bliss of the day,
just so it doesn’t pass them by.
They take turns playing Santa and the gifted kid.
They share bear hugs, at this point it’s all that can be given.
But do they know? No, they don’t. That’s the big deal.
At the day’s end, as I stand to stretch my stiff spine
(my rocking companion creaks again)
and before I retreat to reminisce how I let my pathetic
life blow past me in the winds,
I let them know what they give each other
is something to be kept awake for.
Just like those spoiled rich kids in faraway cities with fancy
clothes and hundred-acre mansions spend Christmas nights awake
hugging the bicycles and macbooks they got for Christmas.
Friendship is a hug we all seem to be able to give,
especially at Christmas
To lean into, like some ancient church building still standing
and servicing through the centuries.
So not one of us expects it when we awake one Christmas morning
to see it crumbled down.
All that is left are memory debris for the rest of the season.
See, I have become a philosopher on Christmas day.
Dedicated to the memory of my American friend, D – whom we lost to suicide the day after one Christmas. This jolly season can be full of laughter but it can also be very lonely. Check on your friends, neighbours, colleagues and family.
Glennise Ayuk is a medical doctor, writer and reproductive health blogger from Cameroon; whose writings have featured in African Writer, Aaduna Literary, Verbal Art, Universal Oneness Anthology and Parousia Magazine, among others. Her maternal & reproductive health blogs can be read at http://www.pregcompanion.com. You can also visit http://www.raptwrites.com to read her creative pieces and/or hire her freelance writing services. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.