In those years when the thermostat

was set at sixty-five,

leaves on the ground,

snow flocked on the branches of huge trees,

we sat wrapped in blankets in a semicircle

at the spread of a thin pine

dotted with large colored lights,

sipping hot chocolate bouncing

with marshmallows

in mugs that did not match

in size, color or shape


Even with a pair of socks,

a package of underwear,

a belt or a stocking cap,

gloves or earmuffs

and a game or two to share,

we swore we heard Santa

during the night

thumping on the roof


The best gift was

mommy laughing