Photo Source: iStock, diego_cervo.
Please pardon my abuse of form, line, and rhyme.
A Holiday Story
Twas three weeks until New Years, and Wrimo was done.
The revisions had started. They weren’t very fun.
Plot stickies were strewn o’r the coffee-stained floor
And my phone was turned off. Ha! Ring nevermore!
I hated the tinsel, the red and green lights
That draped from my bookshelves and flashed in my nights
My pumpkins and witches, bones, and fake gore,
With my raven were stuffed in a box by the door.
My letters to Santa went out in e-mail.
“Buy my book. Leave reviews. It’s right here on sale.”
Santa ignored me. He did every year.
My stories lived only in ether, I fear.
A notice of email pinged on my box.
Damn, I forgot to shut off my intox.
Better than fixing a flaw in the plot,
I clicked on the notice with nary a thought.
“Mr. Writer, it started”—innocent enough.
“I read your last story and think it’s real buff.
It made me think of my mom and my dad,
And I couldn’t help wonder if you knew how sad
My parents are that I’m leaving real soon.
They’ll miss me. They love me. Please grant them a boon.
Stories are healing, though I can’t be healed.
A story for them, I hope that you’ll feel
Is worthy of time, of love and attention.
Please, when I’m gone, if you could just mention
Our names in a story about love and joy.
Remind them that they still love this small boy.
Remind them that love makes a life and a family.
If you could do this, that would be dandy.”
After I wiped away my sad tears,
I read the kid’s closing and let go selfish fears.
“Please do this for me,” the brave child said.
“Give them a vision of love when I’m dead.”
Now, Wrimo meant nothing. Revisions felt lame.
Only one thing mattered. Not fortune or fame.
Only the love that a story can weave
Into the hearts of the people we leave.
Stories are doorways, or windows, or paths
Into hearts and minds to do work as salves.
Distraction, or message, or battles with dirks,
Stories give healing for foibles and quirks.
By telling in paper, e-reader, or chant…
By ink or by stylus, by pen or by rant…
The word shamans’ duty since stories began–
To bring healing and peace to just one fan.
That letter to me, no Santa would read
Santas don’t write. They can’t plant a seed
Deep in the hearts of those who must heal.
Word shamans do that—we whom muses wield.
For a child who loves beyond life and reproach
To the pen, to the page, to the tale we approach.
The years that will come are made of our vision
One family from all should be our heart’s mission.