Memories of a Childhood Christmas 🎄

by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

(1950)

There were ruins around us,
and the stench of decay,
and little in the shop display,
a few decorations:
baubles, tinsels, paper angels.
Ramshackle fir trees were on offer
on a bleak marketsquare
under a cold moon
shining on shivering people
on one of those ice-cold December days
in 1950.
 
We lived in the attic,
accordingly
the measurements of the tree
had to be asymmetric
to fit under the slanted ceiling,
a compromise between a mini tree
or some crooked plant leaning sideways.
 
There was no Christmas market
as we know it today.
Only three stalls with hot chestnuts,
some deco and plastic cribs,
we bought one,
replaced the one my parents had
and which was left behind
over one thousand kms away.
 
Christmas eve with real lights
on the small tree.
The oven exuded heat and coziness.
Some warm drinks, a few sweets,
and the exchange of useful gifts:
a warm jumper, woolen socks.
All had a certain magic.
 
The biggest light was the crib.
Still after seven decades
the child and His parents
accompany me on all my ways.

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is a translator and writer of poetry, haibun, haiku, and short stories. His writings have been published in over 180 anthologies, literary journals, and broadsheets. He writes in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose and experimental poetry. Eduard lives in County Kerry, Ireland, where he’s a member of four writer groups. Born in Germany, he has been a proud Irish citizen for over thirty years.

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