The fists pounded on every door in the home
The pads of their feet, rhythmic, as the two boys roam
“What did Santa bring me?” the littlest redhead exclaimed
“Stupid, Santa ain’t real,” his brother retorted, attitude mostly untamed
“Neither is the word, ain’t,” corrected the boys’ father,
Stress is drawn deep across his pressed blue collar.
“And we don’t say stupid, in this family,”
Grandmother retorted, seated and watched the calamity.
Now, the blue-haired boy pushed his brother out of the way,
No notable exception with kindness is made for this day.
He lunged for the tree, crushing gifts labelled for another.
“Gimme mine first!” paper torn off and thrown at his brother.
Not a glance at the tag before his greedy snide comments,
“it’d better be an Ipad,” he hissed, ignoring his own delinquents.
But a grumble emitted as he realized the gift below
“Velveteen Rabbit!” he spat the book title, with a disgusting show
“Nobody reads books anymore,” he wailed and threw it with a thump
Thump, thump, bump, bump
She was sure it was Santa Claus since she had been good all year
Chores are done to help Mama, and not a complaint said to her ear
Whispered, “She mustn’t mind if I take a peak,”
As she snuck down the stairs, praying the boards wouldn’t creak
Her father off at war, Mama worked all night
To keep the home fire lit, warm and bright
The tree purchased with the girl’s newspaper money
She worked daily and had saved every single, strained penny
Mama tried her best to make this a grand holiday,
Even over minimal meals, she would always thank and pray.
Not for the colour, shape or price of the present,
But the gift, itself, from love, grace and commitment.
The girl’s toes tipped light, and she found her gift with ease
The paper folded neat, and she removed it with not a crease
“Velveteen Rabbit!” she whispered in awe,
Of the wispy brown bunny on the cover of the novel.
With Skin Horse and Tin Toys, who only wanted to be real
To make it so, was from a boy to love, to really feel.
The book’s pages wore thin, ragged and old
The little girl read it daily, and she never let it go.
She blinked her eyes, coming back to this day now
Tears of times past, brimming the eyes of this old gal
Her grandson, with red hair- so curly on top
Brown eyes centred with freckles, there indeed were a lot!
He picked up the book from where it had fell.
Sat next to her, his enthusiasm, a miracle.
He held the story up and smiled to implore,
“Read it to me, Grandmother? I’d love to hear more.”