Christmas Card

My third Christmas,
Dad pulled the armchair
in front of the tree.
I sat on Mother’s lap
with my favorite book.
Her gold crepe dressing gown
had fake leopard lapels.
I wore a nightie with flounces
and ribbons. Dad set up
the tripod and flood lights,
focused the Argus C-3.
Mother began to read.
I nestled so close
I could hear her heartbeat.
She got to the part,
“More rapid than eagles
his coursers they came,…”
Dad had his shot,
turned the flood lights off.
Mother shut the book,
nudged me off her lap.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Vita Brevis
Photo Source

12 thoughts on “Christmas Card

      1. Interesting… I guess I read it as more of a “Okay we’ve got this contrived footage for the sake of memory–now let’s get back to unwrapping presents, etc.” type of ending. Perhaps I read too much of my own experience into it. The sadness is certainly there. Anyway…


      2. No worries, Ryan. Everyone reads their own experience into any poem they read. And your interpretation is as good as any. I went out to photo websites to find a photo for the poem since I have about a thousand slides from childhood to go through, and there sure are a bunch of those “let’s poise quick and get on with the presents” (many very funny) pictures.


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