Poem: Christmas, 1956

By: Emily Strauss


Black tire marks on the pavement—
high school toughs with their cans
of Pabst Blue Ribbon challenged
each other to drag races in their Chevy

hot-rods, peeling out, tires screeching
down the cold empty streets late
at night as parents trimmed trees
aided by toddlers in bunny pajamas.

Next morning the eleven-year-old
boys told the first-grade girls—
Santa’s sleigh landed right
there— look— the dark tracks

in the street, and the girls sporting
fringed Dale Evans skirts, tassels
dangling off genuine cowboy boots
stared with wide eyes, not sure

whether to believe, but there was
the evidence clear as the bright day,
the boys pushed by their teen-age
brothers to tell the story straight

eyed them for permission to laugh a little,
caught between doubt and worldly cynicism.



Categories: Poetry

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