a little embarrassed

she wasn’t yet dressed.

Mum strung up her pearls, rolled

her lipstick into berries. Dad dashed

up the hill and hurried home

with a delicate skirt of snow. Tears

pooled in Uncle Earl’s lonely hands and froze

like icicles as they slipped through his fingers

forgetting why they were ever there –

like stockings he hung them with care.

(published online at 26 Stories of Christmas, December 2013.)