Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Christmas Memory

In the early 50s, there was a covered breezeway
between our house and garage on Spring Street.
Just before Christmas, I remember standing there
late in the afternoon with some neighborhood kids
as a cold wind ran out of the pine woods beyond
the Katsekas’s boggy field to the east.  We were
cold, but my mother didn’t want us all in the house.

There was a storm door and window that looked out
of the kitchen and I remember my mother coming out
and telling us to shush because someone was reading
Christmas letters to Santa on the radio. She opened
the door and window so we could hear.  I knew that
throwing open the sash to the winter chill and deepening
dark was something my mother would not normally do. 
I heard my letter, everyone giggled, my mother laughed,
but that’s all I remember.

Like my memory, the door and the window got worked
into the house when the breezeway was closed in.  I have
moved so many times  I have no pictures of those first
remembered holiday seasons or of any other.  I’m not sure
I want them. They seem more an encumbrance to memory. 
Yet, when memory ebbs back into the freezing woods,
the mind shifts lower and lower to only the feel of winter

FG           12/12/2015

I’m guessing this was ‘52 or ‘53.  The radio station was probably WKBR, maybe Bill Morrisey.  I’m not even sure the garage was built at that time.  When we first moved in (1948) the house was covered with tar paper.  We had a party line, but no TV.

This is not a joyous poem as my story “After the First Christmas There Is No other” is.  But the poem is a picture.  What’s in the picture is in the picture.  Christmas is for kids, right?  Nonsense.  Christmas is for parents and as a kid, I didn’t then, nor do I know have a clue.  Still, it’s was wonderful place to be.  Thanks to my parents, Polly and Earle.  Merry Christmas to all.