“What do you want

“What do you want

for Christmas?”

The hot summer sun

illuminated the room and wrapped

itself around us;

though he wore a jacket inside.

He sat in the armchair

petting one of our cats, who

accepted his frail frame

as a throne.


“Christmas?” we asked,

“It’s so far away.”


He watched my daughter,

his granddaughter,

scribble on paper.

“She needs a pony!”

We laugh.

All granddaughters need ponies

and purses and grandmothers and



“We have to start buying presents,”

he continued.

Though the dazzling sun pushed

thoughts of hot chocolate and gifts

far from our minds.


There were appointments and tests and results and

unanswered questions

between now and


It was the last thing on our minds.


But he wanted the perfect presents for his wife

his daughter

his two sons

their wives

and his granddaughter.

Amid his perplexing medical state,

his only question was how to make the

Holidays perfect.


Christmas came

and left.


I have never longed for something

so desperately

I could not have.

What are your thoughts?