Christmas Giving

How did he ever find

violets under a hedgerow

to give to my mother

on Christmas Day in Wales?

And twenty years later,

cherishing her care of home,

what was he doing placing between

the toast and cereal

his Christmas gift to her:

one metal shoe-scraper without tag or wrapping?

The giving of my father

honored a woman's love

for both the useful and the beautiful.

But there must be no pretension.

My mother smiled for violets

and for the shining shoe-scraper.

She smiled for all his simple

offerings down the years.

So now I bravely search the city stores

to find simplicity for Rosalind....

I really think my dad would understand.

After all, out here

in winter we wear overshoes,

and violets don't grow under hedgerows in December!

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