And feeling her absence again, but with a smile.
She Scotch-taped them as they arrived.
The threshold couldn’t hold them all.
Between the living room and kitchen
the Christmas cards hung open like parted lips.
Postal employees carried double heavy loads then.
Stamps were less than a dime
and tongues licked each one.
They arrived all through December.
To me it was like any collectors dream.
I used to collect beer and pop bottle caps
and keep them in an old Maxwell house coffee tin.
On occasion they fell out and stood in ordered battalions.
The cards lined up too and I thought
my mother was a curator of sorts.
She put them up for display
and passersby would thumb them open.
Beyond the Currier and Ives images,
beyond the glittered Santa beards,
beyond the bright star over the Savior
were cursive words at the bottom inside.
Greetings from around town and around the country,
hand written in indelible…
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