A memory lodged inside my head,
a ghost of Christmas past.
We were watching the panto on TV,
I can’t remember which one.
All of us jumbled together
on the old grey sofa in the front room,
skinny arms & legs intertwined
or dangling off the edge,
waiting for Dad to peel clementines
and hand them over one by one.
Jellied fruits and dates
from Robinsons’ Christmas Club
sat neglected on the sideboard.
Only when the selection boxes
and tinned toffees were done
would we turn to them.
Mum was doing a spread in the kitchen
of cold turkey, cheese and pickles.
It was so close I felt the warmth of the fire
and the bounce of the cushions
as we jumped up and down calling “behind you;”
so real that I almost stretched out my hand to take my fruit
and slide the sweet juicy segments into my mouth one by one;
so good that I laughed and smiled as if I were ten.
Then something happened to break my dream,
a premature awakening,
and I was overcome by a sudden sadness.
Silly really, it was no more than a snapshot;
a picture postcard from a child’s eye view.