CHRISTMAS IN MODESTO 30 YEARS AGO

It was Christmas time and the oil lanterns
Threw strange mongrel shadows
Across the walls
Of the little one bedroom apartment

The oven was a warm harbor
Of love and safety
We had three or four lamps going in the kitchen
Little brother and I at the table
Cookie sheet of baked
Homemade play-dough Christmas ornaments
Pine tree and angels and stars
Testors model paints
Red green gold silver
and glue and glitter
With red and white pipe cleaners
twisted into candy canes
Marshmallows and gum drops
and popcorn strung on string

Between batches of ornaments
Sugar and cinnamon fried donuts
Cups of coffee cut with milk and chocolate
Big pot of soup for us for the next three days

Decorated tree
Winking at us from the lamp light
Stranger shadows festive elementals
Of childhood proof of Christmas miracles
To awaken to presents
Under our little homemade tree
©workingclassproduction.com, 2014

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