The Christmas Program by David J. Roussel at
Clem Onojeghuo

The Christmas Program

The Christmas Program

written by: David J. Roussel



The Christmas benediction
was the same as last year
and I’m sure I bought you
all these gifts before.
The lady in the store,
stutters like a glitch in a machine
when I ask her where she was
in 2015.

I’m certain now,
that this is just a cycle,
repeating itself on a loop.
The program running our simulation
has hit an odd programming error
and we’re trapped
doing the same things
over and over and over.

the sky is a blue/grey cloud/sky
and there are birds in the distance,
but they seem frozen in flight.
Shouldn’t they just fall out of the sky?
The thought passes me quickly,
as a car in the parking lot narrowly misses me
and I have no time left to ponder
the nature of reality,
because it is Christmas time
and there is no time for frivolity.

Driving in frigid winter traffic,
with the sun setting in the afternoon,
like darkness hides the flaws in the façade.
As if the long nights can conceal
such shoddy workmanship.
I keep an eye out
for tears in the veil,
but there are too many things to do
this time of year
to dedicate much time to deciphering reality.

I decide to break the cycle.
Fuck it; I’ll cook a roast instead.
No gifts, just charitable donations.
Then I remember that we did that
back in ’03.
The cycle again.
The cosmic carousel
that drags us around
like some kind of divine joke.

I want to get off this ride.
I want to tear down this fake world,
burn it and live amongst its ashes,
but there is so much comfort here.
I have memories,
however fabricated,
of cherished times and loving friends.
There were many childhood Christmases
and a few adult ones
that I hold precious.

So, I wonder,
if it really matters if we’re stuck
in a bad piece of glitchy programming?
Who cares if the birds are fake,
or if that lady worked the check out last year?
Is it more insane
to fight the turning of the wheel,
or to accept it?

For this year,
I suppose,
I’ll go for one more spin.
Have yourself
A merry little Christmas.



This piece is from my published first collection, “Children of The New Unknown”

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