By then the very idea of servants had faded altogether.
We stomped the cardboard shipping boxes that
seemed to arrive almost daily.
Sometimes I raced out to yell thanks
But the delivery van tore off down the street
I was left barefoot on the cold front porch
Feeling a bit foolish.
We stuffed the wrapping paper
and the twisted ribbon
into the metal trashbin in the garage,forgot about it.
We reheated the casserole, sliced the leftover roast,
laid out the Christmas crackers on the table,
on the good china plates.
It was quiet, the day after
Christmas, that day punctuated by
the making of coffee, long distance
phone calls, experimenting
with new gadgets, thumbing through
new books, thank you, thank you, thank yous.
What we loved was the feast after the feast,
celebrating what was left.
We switched on the colored lights outside,
the white lights inside, and pulled up our chairs.
There were stories and jokes, the pop
of Christmas crackers, then, the paper
crowns and plastic trinkets.
We burned real candles,
made a family of friends.
Reprinted from the journal Three Drops from a Cauldron, December 2015