Advent Reflection – Day 9

The Gift

 

One day the gift arrives – outside your door,

Left on a windowsill, inside the mailbox,

Or in the hallway, far too large to lift.

 

Your postman shrugs his shoulders, the police

Consult a statute, and the cat miaows.

No name, no signature, and no address,

 

Only, “To you, my dearest one, my all…”

One day it fits snugly in your pocket,

Then fills the backyard like afternoon in Spring.

 

Monday morning, and it’s there at work –

Already ahead of you, or left behind

Amongst the papers, files and photographs;

 

And were there lipstick smudges down the side

Or have they just appeared? What a headache!

And worse, people have begun to talk:

 

“You lucky thing!” they say, or roll their eyes.

Nights find you combing the directory

(A glass of straw-colored wine upon the desk.)

 

Still hoping to chance on a forgotten name.

Yet mornings see you happier than before –

After all, the gift has set you up for life.

 

Impossible to tell, now, what was given

And what was not: slivers of rain on the window,

Those gold-tooled Oeuvres of Diderot on the shelf,

 

The strawberry dreaming in a champagne flute –

Were they part of the gift or something else?

Or is the gift still coming, on its way?

 

          Kevin Hart

strawberry champagne

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