Christmas Past

Patten leather shoes, matching purse, crinoline, lace, anklets and curls.

Mom, beautiful vision from hat to heels - Dad dapper in suit and tie, black hair slicked - Brothers, little images of Dad.

Church.

Long bumpy ride to Brooklyn.

Kisses, hugs, laughs.

Black-and-white tiles, so shiny.

Pots steaming on stove, dented strainer set in sink, hustling, focused.

Warmth envelopes, familiar aromas melt your soul, etch into your mind.

Basement, plywood on horses, spliced linens, mismatched service.

Sneak back to kitchen, grandma steals me a meatball, or two...comforting smell like sweet fresh-picked fruit holds me safe in her hug.

Up and down with dishes, platters, bowls - - hours consuming food, and family.

Doorbell rings and rings again, always room for more.

Demitasse, fruit, nuts, coffee and cake.

Asleep in back seat, lap full of crinoline, crammed between two stiff warm suits.

Loves called away, lives too busy, priorities change.

Quick visit or telephone call.

Work, friends, no time.

Christmas morning I awake. Smell of coffee does not melt my soul.  No hugs, kisses, or laughs. Pull up covers and pull down deep to memories past.