CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Christmas lights

 

Daddy sawed down a dark green tree. It was one of the trees that had stayed green. Cold scent filled the house. Daddy put the tree in the big room with the red carpet.

Mama asked, “Do you know the first word you said?” Daddy had climbed a ladder. He was putting a star on top.

“Do you know the first word you said to Me?”

Daddy was down from the ladder.

“You can’t tell Me the first word you said?”

“Resent.”

“No not present.”

“Rismus.”

“Even before that.”

Lights went on. Two lit trees. This one and the one in the darkened mirror behind the tree.

“ight,” She said. “You said ‘ight’ for light. That was your very first word.”

Red and gold hung: white balls glowed. A large lighted-up glowing was of leaves and purple grapes. Daddy and Mama were hanging silver. Silver hangings glittered.

I ran to the other end. The light was far away. Over stone I crawled. Socks drooping down were empty. They drooped from above. Green and red boxes sat beneath the tree. From here I could see: the dark mirror showed even more green and red boxes under a glittering tree.

–from CHILDHOOD

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