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Christmas Music

“A Season to Remember”
for Miriam*

Some wounds,
old wounds,
with their ragged edges,
with their hardened skin,
never fully heal.

We sat in the dimmed living room,
lights twinkling on the tree,
listening to Christmas music,
and she said,

“My mother loved this time of year.”
I caught a glimpse
of her mother’s face,
saw the flame of the scented candle
reflected in the lens of her eyeglasses.
Her mother took care of me,
after I was fully grown
and already a mother.

Some wounds,
never fully healed,
reopen.
I daub at its soft center,
applying gentle pressure,
collecting the droplets of blood
with a damp napkin.

Santa looks up at me
from my dessert plate,
and winks.

I love this time of year.
The car radio is tuned
to the Christmas music station,
as I drive to the supermarket.
I walk the aisles humming Christmas music.
I carefully check my groceries for Kosher certification,
before loading them into the cart.

“I once wrote about how much I love
Christmas music,”
I tell her.

“I remember that blog post,” she replies.
Temporarily silenced by my memories,
by her loss,
I fail to say,
“I remember your mother.”

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*Thanks to Miriam for reminding me that I’d written this poem (in December 2012), which originally appeared on the Tiferet website.

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