dirt on the welcome mat

Monthly Archives: December 2010

December twenty fourth
Most know as Christmas Eve,
The holiday that,
Standing by itself,
Only Santa-loving kids believe
Has any meaning,
They celebrate ”Delivery Day.”

For the rest of America
Pre-Christmas excitement
Can be found
In the national holiday
That is spent 
Idolizing a thick white drink-
We celebrate eggnog.

Like a festive cake batter
Served in glass goblets
Some chug, some sip
This curious liquid.
In mystery it sits
Tempting taste buds
With Christmas spice.


Wooden nutcrackers
Half covered in snow
Stand single-file,
Thirty in one row.

Guarding a brick house
Red as their uniform,
They silently wonder
Why this is the norm,

Why soldiers
With clenched teeth
Are often found
Standing beneath
A Christmas tree.

Why “peace on earth”
Fits right beside
The nutcracker
At Christmastime.


Pass the plate of memories

Down the table, please,

I’d like to fill my plate

With something warm.

And send some of

Your fresh stories my way,

Since you season them

So well with humor.

I loved your new dish of family plans,

And the casserole

Summarizing the past year

Was really enjoyable.

This conversation meal

Was the best our family’s had-

I’ll meet you in the kitchen

For some recipes.

When he was a kid,

Coca-cola was not

An innocent soda pop.

They called it “dope,”

And with good reason.

His parents forbid it,

So after Sunday school

Before the preaching

He ran his fastest

To the store with a friend,

Gripping offering money

In his sweaty fingers all the way.

After guzzling a Coke,

They raced back to sit

In the front row with folded hands

And large,innocent eyes upturned

Toward the preacher.

They soon felt

The effects of carbonation,

But knowing nothing about it,

They assumed it to be the devil

Bubbling up inside them,

And accepted that it was

Their time to die.

Scribbled notes filling the margins

Mix like cream into coffee,

Softening the rich, pungent plot,

Blending a previous traveler’s

Steps through the storyline

With my own.

Underlined passages

On each yellowed page

Outline a fresh perspective,

Accenting hidden treasures,

While earmarked sheets

Smudged with fingerprints

Or tears

Play a soft,

Sentimental symphony.

Like the ghosts of the



And future,

Forgotten family members

From the most obscure branches of my family tree

Play a festive trivia game with me each Christmas season,

Haunting my mind at our family reunion

With unflattering childhood quips and quotes,

Demanding detailed descriptions

About my current college status,

And throwing fact after detailed fact into my

“Why studying to be an English teacher

Is the worst decision of my life” wastebasket.

Waking up the next morning,

Like the famous Ebenezer Scrooge,

I sling open the blinds and breathe a sigh,

Thankful for the gift of family

And a whole year to prepare for their next present.

Four bottles of pills were all she needed                                     To be on her way home from the pharmacy.                              This middle-aged, middle-sized woman                            Wrapped in a long leather coat                                                Was handed a small white bag                                                  That crinkled from the weight of                                                   Her mother’s blood pressure ailments.       

When she discovered that only three                                           Medications rattled in the bag,                                                  She began listing the four drugs                                               Like a drunken pharmacist                                                      With a mouth full of popcorn.  

Potaffium, Atenanohl, Hydrachlora-phloride                                 Of course, the missing drug was just                                          On the tip of her flopping tongue-                                             

Mustering her knowledge of geography, she ventured- “Philippines!”                                                                           Shaking her head,                                                                    She knew she had traveled too far.

Deciding to make this a moment of faith,                                      She selected a book of the Bible-                                        “Philippians!”                                                                        Once again, she realized her mistake.

Getting desperate, she chose to use her education.                    Pulling out a term from middle school science,                            She proudly pronounced-                                              “Fallopian!”

The realization that things were beginning to get                          A little uncomfortable must have                                            Jogged the poor pharmacist’s mind,                                 “Felodipine? Felodipine!”

As her fingers clicked noisily on the keyboard,                               She smiled for the first time,                                             Probably because she saw there was plenty in stock,                   And if there was anything she needed,                                         It was some of that fi-phe-fil, well,                                             High blood pressure medication.