when christmas comes


(Because some feelings will only be processed in writing)

I tell myself I’ll be just fine,

When Christmas comes to pass.

I’ll wear a smile above my scarf—

With mulled wine in my glass.


I’ll play the songs I love the most,

But there’s one I’ll dread to hear.

The one with words I know too well:

“It won’t be the same this year.”


I’ll wrap the presents up in bows,

String lights around the tree.

I’ll hang the stockings in a row,

Place the nativity.


But as the day looms closer still,

My thoughts will linger on.

It was 12/16 I got the call,

And in five days, you were gone.


My toenails, they were sparkly green

At your funeral last year.

I looked down with misplaced shame

At their burst of Christmas cheer.


Now coldness taps the windows.

Winter looms in sight.

And I’m not sure how I’ll manage

On this year’s Silent Night.


If you were here beside me—

Avoiding all that’s Mary and bright—

You’d whisper words like magic,

And make everything all right.


Since you’re gone, I’ll just imagine

Those words that set me free:

“When you celebrate the memories,

You still celebrate with me.”

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