25 December 2005

Christmas apology

Now comes the time of year when Steeles
Are subject to the curse
Of having to either write or read
Strange labored lines of verse.

Forgive me that I do default
To limerick pentameter
(Of the varied rhythms of Robert R
I am not full inheritor).

This year I must take greater pains
Due to one simple fact:
Most of your gifts have not arrived.
I seek, then, to distract.

Ten days ago it was I heard
Announced on GBH:
“Shop with us, for well we have
A mutual need at stake.”

And so I chose with greatest care,
Your hobbies/interests in mind,
The best in public programming —
Out of hundreds I did find.

More online shopping followed;
Until I met my quota:
New camera for the family,

Used hubcap for the Toyota.
And though with each day passing,
There were cartons that arrived—
Hubcap, camera, vitamins —
Of one we stayed deprived.

In bitter disappointment
I surveyed the empty porch,
Wondering how I’d gone so wrong;
Where did I drop the torch?

When all at once I start to hear
The deep and distant laugh
Of one so far and yet so near,
Right up my neuro-path.

Just for one moment I get a glimpse
Of why we have this time.
I force my head above the swamp
And make out through the slime:

It’s not the colored lights we hang,
The caroles or the tarts;
For Christmas is not anywhere
If not first in our hearts.

01 December 2005