Friday, October 30, 2009

the last sugar cookie

did I miss Christmas

there was that one pit-of-stomach moment
when she turned the calender to October 25th
(just 2 months til Christmas!)
but it is just October, plenty of time

for now just enjoy the lazy days of autumn
the cooler weather and changing leaves

in the background
or is in the back of her mind?
there is a faint
click click click
kind of like a clock ticking
but more like the sound
when a roller coaster starts up that first hill
when the combined feelings
of dread and anticipation
threaten to take over

Halloween is a welcome distraction
happy little faces at the door

but the very next day
the calendar tells the story
the first day of November

oh no how did this happen
it can't be November already
she is not ready

but it is too late
she is at the precipice
teetering on the edge
tumbling down down
like Alice in the rabbit hole
or Dorothy's house in the tornado
everything is going by so fast
is that pumpkin pie she smells
what are all those colored lights

finally she ends up
coming to an abrupt halt
in the bog
between Christmas and New Years
she looks around disoriented
and finds herself surrounded
by crumpled wrapping paper
and empty gift boxes

she turns to get her bearings
the house is quiet
is that a Christmas tree?

What happened to Thanksgiving
and did I miss Christmas?

the dishwasher hums in the background
washing away the last remnants of Christmas dinner

her eyes fix on a plate of cookie crumbs
on the hearth left from santa
the one lone sugar cookie with sprinkles looks so tasty
she reaches for it, takes a bite, and thinks
is this all there is left of Christmas
one stale sugar cookie?

the couch looks inviting and she is so tired
as she lays down she thinks
it is just as well she missed it

she doesn't like this time of year much anyway
all that cooking and shopping
and worrying about money
and wondering if anyone will like their gifts

she wakes up, confused, and looks around
instead of piles of opened presents
the clean laundry is stacked up
around her on the couch

where is the tree
and the leaves outside are just turning colors...
was it all a dream?

is there still time to make the holidays
fun and memorable and meaningful?

she finds some paper and starts making a list
the menu for Thanksgiving dinner, a grocery list

maybe some homemade gifts this year?

and baking with the kids
sugar cookies with sprinkles
lots of sugar cookies

~Susan Tidwell 2009


Alice said...

On Christmas Day last year I thought to myself, "I know next Christmas seems far away, but there will come a day when I will ask 'where on earth did the year go, and how come it's almost Christmas again?'" Sure enough, we're about at that stage. I dear, I'll just have to run faster to catch

Kerri said...

You write so well :)
This could be me....except I don't have a dishwasher ;) It all comes much too fast!
Loved your foliage pics of Black Rock Mt. and the blues of Vogel. Beautiful light on the water!
So glad you stopped by!

Seeing Anew said...

Your poem captures my uneasy sentiments about the coming holiday season perfectly! All that shopping, cooking, juggling visits, etc. But then I remember "the little things" that make everything all right again - the first snowfall, baking cookies, Christmas lights, happy smiles on children's faces, sipping hot cocoa...

Pam said...

I was holding my breath while reading this~what a relief to know she did not miss the holidays and is inspired to make not let them pass by her...

A nice reminder for me to not sleep, to be aware and to make the most of each day!

Happy Halloween!!


Michael Manning said...

All sounds good to me, Susan! Have a nice Halloween! :)

Linda S. Socha said...

Beautifully written! This is one where I am reminded of a nursery rhyme...turn around turn around.....and the day is done.

Hope your Christmas as a bright as these cookies

Jellyhead said...

What a wonderful poem Susan, and with such a wise message. You're so right - Christmas shouldn't be a test of endurance but a celebration of love, with family and friends.

I love the image of one last sugar cookie .... quite a sad reminder of how we can let life pass us by if we don't live in the moment.

Post more poetry Susan - you are GOOD!!

Paul said...

I fell asleep in front of the computer and when I woke up there was this poem. So I read it and enjoyed it.