Francis Duggan

Memories Of A Childhood Christmas

The frost had left the windows looking gray
And no bird called at the first light of day
And the only sounds in yard at Claraghatlea
Made by cows in byre who bellowed for their hay.

And despite cold in bedroom we rose at first light
To see what Santa had left over night
And there on floor beside the Christmas tree
A present for each child in family.

My elder sisters got a doll and toy guitar
And my younger brother got his wish a toy motor car
And Santa left small tipper truck for me
That kind old man had a great memory.

A dark empty bottle by chimney place labelled 'stout'
Gave proof to us that Santa was about
Mum always told us it was only right
To leave a drink for him on Christmas night.

In the cold kitchen we played with our toys
On Christmas morn mum did not mind our noise
And her first task to build and light the fire
Whilst dad went out to feed the cows in byre.

As the fire grew hot the windows lost their gray
And from the house the coldness went away
And mother opened oven door and put turkey in to cook
And for a brief spell sat and read from book.

By 11 A.M. we were playing in back yard
The cold had ceased though frostbound ground was hard
And sparrows and robins by the back door fed
On scraps and crumbs of after breakfast bread.

Near 2 P.M. the family sat to eat
One day a year we enjoyed turkey meat
To be followed by plum pudding and tea
Our childhood Christmas light a memory.

Were I a poet then I might easily tell
Of on Christmas night in bed hearing sleigh bells
And hearing Santa ho hoing in the sky
And his reindeers snorting as he hurried by.

As we grow older in the world of men
We lose our innocence though 'child within'
Will some times wander back to childhood day
To Christmas times and games we used to play.

The frost had left the windows looking gray
And cows in byre were bellowing for hay
And though that was years ago and far away
The Childhood Christmas memories tend to stay.

Submitted: Sunday, February 17, 2008

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