Sidi J. Mahtrow
A Special Christmas Gift
Most gifts come wrapped or maybe
Too awkward to be,
Are left standing in the corner or lying unwrapped under the tree
But this special gift was different, to be delivered on bended knee.
The giver had planned this gift for nearly a year
For the recipient always took his gifts and put them away
Until the ones he had,
Were worn out or “used-up” as they say.
So Joyce planned this gift very carefully and told Dad
That this gift he would have to help with so please don’t get mad,
For it was too much for her alone with all the driving and shopping
Seems she wanted him to sit very still and let her do the? un-wrapping?
She took out the box that she had carefully packed quite full,
And the white enamel pan that was to be a part of it all.
“Sit here, in your favorite chair, the cane-bottomed one,
Get comfortable for this will take a while and I hope it’s fun”
Then she put on one of Mom’s aprons, tied in the back
Filled the pan with water, planning her attack.
Dishwashing detergent, mild and without smell
Was the next thing out of her box of tricks that she had planned well.
Carefully she untied the laces on the shoes that he wore
Shoes that were well polished, just as if from the store.
Next off came the white socks one after another
Until Dad’s feet were there for all to see without any cover
It seemed Joyce intended to give Dad’s feet a bath,
Not such a big thing but certainly on a different Christmas path.
He grinned down from his seat and went along with the play
Filled his pipe with Prince Albert and was content there to stay.
The cleaning soon over and that signaled an end
But Joyce had another trick up her sleeve as we soon learned
Shooing away the small kids that came in to see
What was happening to Grandpa and the gifts, under the tree.
The feet were clean, as clean as could be
And a good buffing made the nails sparkle like lights on the tree
Dad, said, “Thank’y, I really am surprised
That you had planned this for a old man who’s grown old but not wise.”
He stood to leave, and Joyce said, “I’m not through.
I’ve got another gift for you.
So sit and be comfortable as I am just beginning.”
And she took out more tools from the box’s inner lining.
A pair of clippers that would do a farrier proud
Were in her hand and she knelt before the feet
Knowing that the mission
Was going to be hard to complete.
She nipped and nipped some more
As toenails flew and fell to the floor,
Going from toe to toe removing just a bit, here and there
She slowly wore away the year’s growth found there
Sometimes stopping and using a bit
Of warm water and detergent the stubborn hooves to wet
Until they were softened and yielded to her touch.
But very carefully, she didn’t remove too much.
Ten toes got her blessings and the long nails, no longer there
And underneath white skin was exposed to the light’s evening glare.
Then, a file that would make a machinist jealous, she took from her pack
And carefully resumed her attack.
The edges were made as smooth as a baby’s back side
And only then was she finally satisfied,
She said, I guess you/ve been trimmed like the old gray mare
And need to put on your shoes to get a bit of fresh air.
Into her sack which she tossed in the box,
Went all the tools that she had used for the attack.
So I guess one could say, “twas the night before Christmas” and be right as rain,
For a special Christmas gift was the Daughter-in-law’s Plan.
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