Fa La La

I want to celebrate Christmas,
my daughter announces. I want
blow-up things on the lawn.

She’s wonderstruck by our neighbor’s
inflatable Mickey Mouse elves.
Behind them, sunglass-wearing Santa, Frosty,
and Rudolph sway, arms around each other’s shoulders.
Rudolph must have a leak; his snout’s starting to pucker.
Daddy’s family’s Christian, so why can’t we?
Across the street, plastic
snowflakes swirl in a giant sphere.
I try to set aside my filters –
tacky, money-driven, landfill-clogging kitsch
to borrow my daughter’s eyes and see, what?
Spectacle and pageant? Extravagant, in-your-face
celebration? No use. More than the forty years
between us, it’s her nature I can’t enter –
miles from my anxiety and distraction,
my husband’s prickly Brooklyn edge.
No matter how many prayers I chant
or herbs I burn to Brigid,
how many full moon nights I step
onto the porch to wash my skin in silver,
she’s the better Pagan – thirty-seven pounds
of joy receptors, songwriter of “Super Day”
and “I Love Everything.”
Another neighbor’s timer turns on,
makes bulbed reindeer graze. She grabs
my hand, tugs hard. Though it’s cold
and dinner will be late,
I let her pull me toward the light.

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