this is kind of pessimistic, i'm sorry.
ribbons slipping, sliding
through my fingers,
bows caught on box edges,
fingers grasping for the folds of wrapping paper.
and i hear the
releasing under the tug of my hands,
and we sing,
ricocheting in the quiet little church
my grandmother's hand
(not mamie, never mamie)
digging into my wrist,
bony and tight,
and here we go again.
my voice rises, swells with the crescendo,
i'm singing the praises of a god i don't believe in,
but at least i'm singing.
mamie would be ashamed -
she didn't raise me this way,
didn't raise my mother this way either.
i saw her a couple days ago,
when she pressed a pin into my hand and smiled -
it was of a pheasant, her childhood pet.
but here i am,
tossed into my father's car
like a package.
i want to tell them
that kids were never meant to
be traded and bartered like objects,
but i doubt it'd make a difference.
so it's another christmas gone by,
early mornings and late nights,
i dip my head and twist the pads of my fingers
across the surface of the pheasant pin,
slide the needle neatly through the fabric of my jacket,
smooth it gently into place.
here we go again.