The following brief anthology is in response to Richmond Road’s request that we celebrate December 17th. As we in Australia live in the future, compared to most others, here is my effort to celebrate this day.
December 17 – 1
It’s 6am, the sun now up,
It’s rays poking in under the blinds
The intensity telling me
We are in for another stinker.
She sleeps on for she is not a morning person
I lean over and kiss her bare shoulder
She grunts both in acknowledgement
And a warning to stay away.
I slip from the bed, my ablutions await.
My eyes fall on the wardrobe door
Behind which I have secreted her gift
The dotted paper so in keeping with
All things December 17th.
I boil the kettle, pour a tea, sit on the balcony
Watching the world wake up,
The kids across the road squeal with delight
As their December 17th begins.
It’s 6.45, and she sleeps on.
I slide in and cuddle up to her
She brings her arm to press me in close
Then turns and looks at me,
“Only because it is today,” she says
Before we celebrate December 17.
December 17th 2
Twas the night before December 17th
All was silent around the house
Apart from movement beneath the floor.
The cockroaches were meeting
Goals being set
The night was hot and steamy
Typical of the time of year.
The pickings would be plentiful
It was all systems go.
“Let’s take back everything that’s ours,”
Came the cry from Ivan, the head Roach.
As an army, they swarmed out,
The pantry in their sights.
But they hadn’t counted on booby traps
That lay upon their path,
For they soon succumbed
Each stumbled and then fell
The surface spray too much.
Twas all silent once again
The night before December 17th.
December 17 – 3
The children bounce upon our bed
There is such glee in their voices
As together they extol us to be awake
To celebrate as they well do this very special day.
It’s December 17th our one day of the year.
Our limbless tree stands proudly
Centre of our lounge room
The children gather round to see what lies beneath.
There are gifts in dotted paper, stripes and circles
We went all out this year,
No expense did we spare.
The youngest opens his gift and squeals in delight
It’s a used wrapper from the year before
He thought we had forgotten.
The eldest eagerly takes hers, rips off the dots and stares
Smiles widely as she holds aloft the toilet brush
Says it’s just what she was wanting.
The wife is keen, takes up her gift
Slowly lifts the sticky tape
Swoons at the sight of the rolling pin
With the dough still plastered on.
My gift is a bag of wood shavings
I hold them tenderly, savouring the moment,
Then announce I will enshrine them
Amongst my trophies in the tool-shed.
Then as a family, we sing our favourite Karol,
Noisy Morn, Unholy morn,
Chaos reigns, sun burning down.
Chook half cooked or burnt to a crisp
Stinking hot, sweating like pigs
We fall in the pool, flop around
On this our day of the year.
December 17 – 4
Today is his one-day of the year
He liked to think of it
As his annual sowing of oats.
He had to smile
For when he was young it all just happened
The urge came, you acted, you achieved.
Nowadays he and his partner have to plan
Agree on the day, put things in place,
Make sure he has the right pills
Are they still in date?
She also has things to arrange,
Like did she want to participate?
Would it take her away from her knitting?
She too looked for the necessary ingredients
The moisturiser, the oils, the inclination.
Gone was the spontaneity,
No matter what the mind might say
The body always needs convincing
But it was their day, they sensed the occasion,
It was up early he hoped,
She hoped so too.