Tidings of dander fly
like fierce winter flurries.
Caught in a Norman Rockwell masterpiece
frozen in anticipation
as a child waiting a Christmas present.
What drifts of white will dampen
Christmas joy this year?
Will Grandmas will remove treacherous drifts,
keep the naughty nice,
see with blind eyes,
hear with deaf ears,
speak with a soothing grace like honey?
As sure as grass wilts without rain,
Aunt Bea will have a headache.
She’ll need to lie down for a nap.
Grandma will coddle her only daughter.
As sure as darkness comes with night,
Aunt Kate will shoo me away from the kitchen.
Only she is allowed to sample the turkey.
Grandma will always give me a wing.
As sure as a bluebird is blue,
my sister will fight with my cousin.
As plucked hair falls, screams spear my ears.
Grandma will dry the tears with her words.
As sure as the sweet taste of divinity,
the men will find a need to go to the barn,
for Grandpa has Jim Bean in the hayloft.
Grandma will pretend she doesn’t know.
As sure as the one o’clock train whistle,
the cribbage board will come out.
To hell with, damn it, oh shit will be said.
Grandma will be deaf to these words.
As sure as life ends in death
memories make for holiday misgivings,
traditions to be passed on.
Grandmas are Santa’s helpers.