Things from the Past

My favourite Christmas ornament.

yellow with
little white and red flowers,
probably hand painted.
damaged and awkwardly repaired:
wrinkled cardboard and old glue.
a plain, boring and ugly object for today.
no shine, no movement; no fragrance, no sound.
an old object:
just hanging in a fir-tree and
capturing the light
of the sun or
the dining room lamps
throwing them back
not in thousands of sparkles,
but in a faded, mellow, subdued radiance
that brings to my mind so many memories.
my first glimpses of life:
the awe and mystery of Christmas.
my first Christmas tree
in a haze
of memory or smoke
from real candles -
their grey, church-like-smell.
the joy,
the wonder,
the security …
sheer happiness…
waiting for Christmas to happen.
I look at the little sun shining,
not burning, in my palm,
in the fir tree
in its storage box:
all those memories come back!
a life time of Christmases:
rustling candies wrapped up in shiny silver and gold,
the smell of oranges, a luxury.
home baked  sweet bread with lots of nuts,
the whispers of parents and neighbours
getting things ready for Father Christmas to come,
my first Jewish Father Christmas,
the distant sound of carolers in the streets,
orășelul copiilor,
frozen feet and noses,
boiled wine and spiced up țuica,
poems in exchange of gifts,
a this-small-dwarf-bathing-in-a-coffee-pot,
Moș Gerilă …
The pain of discovery,
the denial of mythology,
the happy sparkle of red wine,
cigarette smoke,
sausages and sarmale,
cold cuts,
my own kids’ expectations,
French perfumes, furs,
American cigarettes.
Stories … .

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