Once upon a Christmastime
A number of years ago
I thought about my Christmases
With a warm and nostalgic glow.
A vivid memory of my youth
Combined fun, excitement and pretty,
Was the holiday trip I’d take with Mom,
To see Christmas in New York City.
I wanted to share my childhood
And of all the things I did.
It might add more meaning to stories
That start; “Well, when I was a kid.”
We’ll take the kids to Manhattan,
It’s really not that far.
Only ninety minutes by Long Island rail
Or maybe, a three hours drive by car.
Time has a habit of changing things,
I was well aware of that.
So I knew we couldn’t have lunch at
The Horn and Hardart, Automat.
The giant Pepsi waterfall
Atop Bond’s clothing store
And the smoke ring blowing Camel man
Just aren’t there any more.
It’s Christmas at Rockefeller Center.
But, the big tree missed its mark.
As one of the kids reminded me that
There are huge trees in Hecksher Park.
Of the smiling circling skaters below
This was my children’s take.
They agreed that it looked like fun
But at home there’s a frozen lake.
On a bitter cold winter day
Young kids don’t give a heck-o
About a gold statue of Prometheus
Or anything that’s Art Deco.
I knew that in the best toy department
There would be no displays from Lionel.
Those are now replaced by video games
And other electronic joys to sell.
So, we visited the “World’s Largest Store”
With all the anticipation my heart employs.
While Santa still has his “Santa Land”
The mighty Macy’s no longer sold toys.
The animated holiday window displays
Are still welcome and to be found.
But, unlike the days I remembered,
Fewer people were gathered around.
For all the walking, wind and cold
It is with mixed feelings I make this query,
Would Edgar Allen Poe think to write?
“Once upon a Christmas cheery….”
So, my Christmases live on in my mind
Their reality has gone to “Good Bye Land”.
Now I know better than to try and show
What was my Coney Island.