Christmas Eve, 1998

Mother told me
that on Christmas Eve
my Daddy ran around the toy store “like a madman”
to buy his little girl the perfect present.

“He was possessed,” she said
but she didn’t say by what.

She loitered at the entrance, keeping an eye
on the car parked on double yellow lines.

He returned triumphant
dragging a huge box.

Co to jest?” she asked
wondering where the money had come from.

“A TRACTOR!” he beamed
smiling with his own teeth
possibly/probably drunk/on drugs.

He took great joy in wrapping it
knowing that the following morning his daughter
would rip the paper to shreds.

Did he know then
rushing around
that that tractor
would become THE symbol of my childhood?
the thing that I think of
when therapists ask me
when was the last time you were happy?
when friends ask me
what’s your best childhood memory?
when I ask me
were you loved???

Yes I was loved
I was loved
so loved:
one Christmas
Daddy bought me a tractor
and it was bright red
and it had a black steering wheel
and black pedals
and I rode it around and around and around the garden
and it had a detachable trailer
and my baby brother would sit in the trailer
and I would drive him around and around and around
and then Daddy got sick
and I’ve been sad ever since
and I don’t know where the tractor is
I don’t know where it is
I don’t know what happened to it

where is it?

where’s my red tractor?

where is it now?

where’s my happiness?

where is it?

what happened to it?

where is it now?

5 thoughts on “Christmas Eve, 1998

  1. This is heart wrenching. I bled a little reading this. Here’s hoping you’ll find happiness again this new year ❤️

  2. I had a little tricycle with a boot on it, I have no idea from where it came or wither it went! (if wither is the right word? Probably not!) Where did it go?? I’d sure like it back now! XX

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