December Again by Ona Gritz

December Again

December again,
the radio given over
completely to carols.
My son complains,
Not everyone celebrates
Christmas. We switch
to CDs. Outside, Santa
dances the twist in a storefront.
All around us, the pine and lights.
Two weeks early,
we bring out the menorah,
read the Maccabees’ story
which, of course, he loves.
We’re underdogs and warriors.
A miracle keeps the candles lit.
He gets a present for every
day that it lasts.
How can the birthday
of a long gone rabbi
compete with that?
Still, I catch him looking
with longing at those bejeweled
trees suddenly everywhere.
After all, he’s seven and he’s
not invited. And it’s the biggest
birthday party of the year.


Ona Gritz’s new collection of essays, Present Imperfect, is out now from Poets Wear Prada. She is also the author of Geode, a Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award finalist, and On the Whole: a Story of Mothering and Disability. A longtime columnist at Literary Mama, Ona’s poems and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, The New York Times, River Teeth, The Bellevue Literary Review, Brevity, and elsewhere. Recent honors include two Notable mentions in Best American Essays, a Best Life Story in Salon, and a winning entry in The Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020 project.

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