Poems for Advent 8
for my parents - Jim and Pauline
Where Christmas was Kept
In a cupboard beneath the steps
at one end of the dark hallway
my parents would fold Christmas away.
Individually wrapped for another year
each fragile glass bauble
and trailing Christmas streamer
frosted stars and porcelain Santa Claus.
A glass nativity scene
silver glitter papier mache bells
plastic reindeer and a china punch bowl
wooden nut and sweet dishes.
Linking the generations of our rituals
of faith and family
pagan and Christian rites.
A place that waited all the cold winter
sacrosanct and secret.
The silent heart of the household
around which our little years
were held contained and spent.
In dark wood shelves beneath the steps
in the cupboard where Christmas was kept.