Christmas Eve — A Poem by Lauren Scharhag

Dec 25, 2019

The ritualistic habituation of a holiday celebrated around the world is broken and disrupted in order to revive its significance in this poem by Lauren Scharhag. Time, as memory and its evocation would have it, is the poet's accomplice.

This poem was previously published in Volume 3 of Otherwise Engaged Literary and Arts Journal and then again in the poet's book entitled Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and is reproduced here with the poet's exclusive permission.

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve, we had dinner
at my step-grandmother’s house.
She was old-fashioned:
she didn’t keep her TV in the living room.
The living room was for visiting.
So she kept her TV in the den,
guests’ coat collected on the sofa.
I would retreat there after supper,
after the gifts were opened
and the adults were gathered,
talking and drinking coffee.
I would bury myself under the coats:
the heavy wool, the fur collars,
the quilted parkas, the silk linings,
the leather, the scarves;
scents of perfume and cologne,
of cigarettes, a pack of Wrigley’s
in somebody’s pocket;
they would cling and mingle
in my nostrils.
The only light
from the ceramic Christmas tree
on the end table,
the flickering 13-inch.
I would drift off to sleep
in their colors, lulled by
the muted laughter
from the other room,
sleeping and waking to
the celebration of divine birth,
of life in a dead season.

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About the Contributor

Lauren Scharhag is the author of twelve books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and High Water Lines (Prolific Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize and two Best of the Net nominations. She lives in Kansas City, MO.To learn more about her work, visit: www.laurenscharhag.blogspot.com