Esther Murbach – Christmas According to Rosie

poet2Esther Murbach, born in the middle of the 20th century, was raised and is living in Basel. She studied languages, history and philosophy in Basel and Berlin. She is a journalist and translator. She has been a freelance author since 2008.


Christmas According to Rosie

Take umpteen of the usual scene
same procedure as every year
brace yourself against it
so far you have always survived
and every time you think
maybe this year
it won’t be so bad

Christmas is a sacred tradition
generally considered to be about Jesus alone
love thy neighbours and family members
never mind grudges
ignore pagan backgrounds
midwinter, Alban Arthuan, Rauhnächte and such
as they might spoil
even soil
the claim of pure holiness

Do not mention discrepancies
under the flamboyant tree
God might not approve secular footnotes
nor would aunt Rosie

For she is the family expert
on the exactly right way to celebrate the Holy Feast
this authority bestowed on her
by the Lord himself
or at least by one of his deputies
and woe to all
who doubt that

The odour of sour grapes
wafting around the festive table
never reaches her nostrils

Each year
she claims this will be her last time
to host the gathering of her beloved
and less beloved ones
for surely she will push up the daisies
before their buds are even ready
to take a peek at next spring

Who am I
to disappoint a dying dear
when the tear
trickling through the phone
into my ear
implores me again
please be here.


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