Niños Inocentes

“By by, lully, lullay…” ~ Coventry Carol

“someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date…” ~ Dennis O’Driscoll

It’s evening, and raining. The parents have gone inside, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, the cousins visiting from out of town who remind us not to believe everything that other people say, nor lend out any amount of money on this feast day. We get to work, setting aside torn wrappers, ribbons, boxes for delayed trash pickup Saturday or for recycling next Tuesday. Someone says, as dishes are rinsed and put away, Can you imagine returning gifts you bought for Christmas for your little one who will never walk through the door again? The last thing we ate was a square of yellow cheese, a piece of plain bologna. Nobody touched the carrot cake. Blobs of holly, dark red clusters droop over the neighbor’s fence. Some shingles on the roof will need replacing. The gutter may need to be cleaned. And water runs continuously in the tank of the downstairs toilet. I used to have a number I could call; no matter, tomorrow will serve just as well. My friend on a cruise down the banks of the Rhine emailed to marvel at the Christmas markets and bazaars in town after little town, the wooden toys, the cookies flecked with pepper and warm spice. My son came to me in a dream last night, she wrote; in the dream, he was very young, he was laughing and running down the main street of our home town. I gave chase, caught up with him. I woke breathless, as if it were true and he hasn’t been gone now for 9 long years. When I woke, the light was pale yellow through the window. Dear G, here, where I am, it is long past evening; but even in the dark, there is something musk-tender; a little sad, solemnly sweet.


In response to Via Negativa: The slaughter of the innocents.

3 Replies to “Niños Inocentes”

  1. I had always known of Jack Klugman, but I hadn’t heard of Dennis O’Driscoll before he died Christmas Eve. All these people I learn about through others who are sad to see them go.

    This is beautiful. The pale yellow against the musk-tender — so fine.

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