Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the place
Not a thought was racing, not even a trace;
The meds were all stashed, in the cabinet with care;
A warning to my neurons, behave and beware.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Something bad was going down, something was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Oh crap, not again, not another stupid crash.

When what to my wandering brain should appear,
A dude in a sleigh with eight friggin’ reindeer.
Now Dasher! now Dancer! Please tell me I’m dreaming!
On Comet! on Cupid! Time to start screaming!

To the front of the porch! up against the wall!
Get 911 here right now, I’m headed for a fall.
A vision in my head, a harbinger of doom,
Now dash away! dash away! To the emergency room!

He was dressed all in rags, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished in ashes and soot.
He came through the sliding door, in the back entry;
No way to blame his appearance on a dirty chimney.

A bundle of stuff he had flung on his back,
Like a homeless person, with his life in a sack.
I’m the Ghost of Christmas Present, he said in my home.
Dude, I replied, you got the wrong poem.

His eyes - they were hollow, his skin a sickly yellow.
His mouth it trembled, like a defeated fellow;
A stump of a smoke he held tight in his teeth,
Looked like he hadn’t eaten anything in a week.

My old lady was upstairs, zonked out on her meds;
My kids were in the next room, asleep in their beds.
Only one thing to do, very plain to see,
Time to call 911, protect my family.

I put down the phone, in spite of myself,
Something in my brain, maybe an elf.
Set yourself down, I said, You’re in the right poem,
I’ll see what’s in the fridge, make yourself at home.

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
You got that part right, he told me, very very very!
No matter how much we have, how much we own,
We’re all of us homeless, till we find the right poem.

And laying a finger, alongside of his ear,
And, giving a nod, he was no longer here.
Was it a dream? Was it psychosis?
Does my doc need to up my meds, on even higher doses?

But the feeling was real, a peace I had never known;
I was in the right place, in the right poem.
And I heard him exclaim, in a voice that was my own,
“Check what’s inside the fridge. You have found yourself a home.”


First posted on HealthCentral two years ago. A happy - and giving - holidays to all. Today marks the second anniversary of my blog. Many thanks to all of you who entered my virtual home strangers and stayed as friends.


Tony Previte said...

Merry Christmas Morning John!

Heather said...

John, don't know me but I heart you and your words, your willingness to share. You gave me hope and knowledge this year, just in the nick of time!

Keep on keepin' on...share, share!

Kate said...

Love the line "No matter how much we have, how much we own,
We’re all of us homeless, till we find the right poem."

I hope you don't mind if I post this in my facebook status, duly acknowledged, of course.

I can't thank you enough, John, for the generosity and intelligence of your work. I have to take breaks from reading it... knowledge *is* necessity, but balance is even more so ;-)

Best wishes for the new year!