~ Patricia Butkovich ~

See Patricia's Book

The Perfect Gift

Long about the third week of December

you could see them with their heads together

dad’s gray and her blond braids remembering

what mom had mentioned all year and whether

it was a hint or was she just dreaming.

Then the trip to town to shop, just the two,

up and down the aisles filled with wares gleaming

hoping coins carefully saved weren’t too few.

much touching, eyeing, then at last chosen,

wrapped with care and placed under the tree

but Father Time’s steady march seemed frozen,

thawed only by joy on Christmas morn, the

whole room glowed as slowly the lid she’d lift.

Somehow it was always the perfect gift.

Lonely Tree

Alone in the lot

No lights to be seen

The tree wasn’t chosen

Its trunk was askew.

The rest of the trees

Carried home with love

Were covered with lights,

Bright baubles and garland,

A crèche underneath

And an angel on top.

A vagrant with no hat or coat

Shivering in the holy night

Made kindling with that lonely tree

Then lit a fire big and bright…

Christmas Eve warmth.


Home For Christmas

Somber stony clouds

crowded the sky

over the frozen mounds

of freshly loosened earth

that we picked our way around

to reach the icy chairs

huddled together in the tent

the year that mama went home for Christmas.

A tiny aging artificial tree

planted in a dollar store vase

on a table near her bedside

had been the only glimmer of the season

in a home turned empty and cold

by the invincible disease that moved in and stayed,

the year that mama went home for Christmas.

The lights on that tree twinkle tonight.

A comfort to my weeping heart

and I picture her with daddy,

the baby lost after only one day.

in an eternal mansion built with selfless love,

joy and happiness she freely gave to all

in the years before mama went home for Christmas.

Better Than Santa

To Nicholas, the wonder worker Saint,

Friend and protector of children.

They desperately need you,

To work your mighty deeds.

To orphans of the aids epidemic,

Send some food and clothing

To the street children in cities cruel

Send a place to lay their heads

To factories’ sweatshop children

Send time for them to go to school

For innocent children sold into slavery

Grant them freedom.

To pampered children

Instead of things, send a firm hand of love and guidance

St. Nicholas, this Christmas, please….a miracle.

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