Then…it was a time of true magic,
when the world was small and soft.
It had to be magic, my mind of five
told me: how else could my brothers
and I go to sleep on an ordinary,
dull and quiet night, to awaken in
sheer joy the next morn as though
we had been zapped by a warm bolt
of harmless lightning, setting our
now restless bodies tingling….
Like racehorses at the gate of magic,
we stood at the top of the stairs,
pulling at whatever patience we
could muster under the admonitions
of Mom and Dad to wait! wait! the
camera must be loaded–but how
painful to be still when we knew
children’s paradise was only a
stairway away–and indeed what a
paradise we saw unfolded in
our now unfamiliar living room!
The tree drew our eyes first—
it was big and fat, with its
branches sagging under all
it myriad ornaments: glass
balls, plastic candy canes,
tinsel drooping as though
it hung on a weeping willow
and not a proud Blue Spruce.
And hundreds and millions of
colored lights, some blinking,
some staid like the royal crown
of a giant king—perhaps
the King of Toys, for they
were seen in abundance
wherever we looked: trucks and
bikes and bats and games, and
each brother had his own pile
(we marveled how thoughtful
Santa must be) and we knew
in each stack there were boxes
beautifully wrapped but sans
treasure, hiding only socks
or shirts, perhaps a sweater.
Well, even the jolly fat man
could not be perfect—still,
he would bring magic to our
home every year, overnight
transforming prosaic lives
by wonder, by magic, by love,
and after he went away, when
I was an ancient seven, the
world grew much bigger but
colder, dull and empty
of that special joy that
can only come to those
children who believe….
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
This was one area my parents excelled in– later of course I realized that they had to stay up all night long to make the magic happen….
Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.J. Carber, 75, became published in his 8th decade in over 100 literary journals in 7 countries and 2 trade book collections: The Enormity of Existence  and Of Ether and Earth . Spirit Fire Review nominated him for the Pushcart Prize 2022.