christmas, 2001
it had not always been like this.
but finally, it was worn out,
tired of fighting the persistent, rushing tide

of whining children with red faces,
and there's this year's new model,
motorized and with flashing lights,
but the batteries are not included.
and there's the new doll with the pink dress
and the blue, plastic eyes, and her hair is so real!

of the fathers and the mothers
who work like pack dogs all year,
and what the hell for if not to make sure
that there are presents under the tree this year
every year. and why not.
their children should have it better than they had it.

of traffic jams that lead to strip malls,
and the red brake lights and blaring horns
proclaiming the new good tidings.
the lines of those with tired faces,
please have your credit cards and identification ready
for the cashier.

it had not always been like this.
but it is this year, and will be the next.

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