Saturday, December 17, 2005

All She Wants for Christmas


I’m walking through the Bay
looking at men’s clothes because
Mom says John wants a sweater
for Christmas.

I’m not sure if John actually wants a sweater
for Christmas or if it’s
one of those things
like when you’re a kid
and your Mom tells you that
what she really wants
are some new
oven mitts or ear muffs or black socks.

Because she knows that
what you really want
is to make her happy.
So she picks Something Easy
for you to buy
and you don’t realize
until you’re older
that for her it wasn’t about the item
it was about
seeing the look of relief on her daughter’s face
that she found the present that her mother really wanted.

I guess that’s why she didn’t ever make it
hard and tell me that what
she really wanted for Christmas was
for me to shack up with an artist or
share her leftist political views
or move to a small town.

So I’m wandering through the sweater aisles
and the most important thing
at the moment is deciding on
brown or blue?

I know that they’re expecting a
call from the Doctor this morning
to tell them if the
test results say that the
cancer has spread to her lymph nodes or not.
I don’t know what a lymph node is but
I know enough to know that we
don’t want her to have cancer in them.

When my phone rings in the
Men’s Department I know already
that it’s good news because
I understand now that
good news is shared
as soon as possible and that only
bad news waits until there’s been
time to process and plan
a communication strategy.

So when I arrive on the
Kitchen & Bath floor I understand that it’s not about the
blue Cuisine Art griddle pan because
she’s already received
what she wouldn’t have been able to ask me for.

-Leah Costello