WILL THEY COME THIS YEAR?

His mind is good, although at eighty-four
his health has failed. He's learned not to expect
too much. It's Yuletide now and on his door
the nurses hung a wreath. In retrospect,
he sees six stockings on the mantelpiece
back home somewhere in time when they were small.
He visions tousled heads and toys. Release
of tears unbidden comes. They seldom call.

It seems but yesterday they sat upon
his lap and kissed his cheek and called him Dad.
He knows their childhood days have long since gone,
but he still cares; their absence makes him sad.

He craves warm hugs from those whom he holds dear,
and lives with hope that they will come this year.

Copyright 1995 Ruth Gillis

"Will They Come This Year?" received a First Place Award
in the November/December 1995 issue of Poets At Work,
and a Second Place Award in the Winter 1996
issue of Apropos.



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