Day 23: Christmas Eve

After Kim Moore

And on that day we threw away
our notions of what Christmas should be.

We turned away, that day, and embraced
new traditions; we gave each other books
on Christmas eve, and permission to read.

On that day we were completely selfish:
we did not answer the phone to my parents,
we did not wish merry Christmas
to the neighbours, or make a buffet
or prepare the veg. On that day,
we poured ourselves two glasses of red
and took our Christmas eve books
to bed.

On that day, we didn’t put
a mask on for our friends and listen
to the chatter about last minute
wrapping and going to bed at three
am and getting up at five. On that day
we wore brand new pyjamas
and touched warm feet against warm feet,
and on that day I untied the woman
dressed as a mother, who had waited
for a Christmas with her children
and she lifted into the air and dissolved.

She was only black and white.
And on that day I became colourful again,
and childish and stayed up all night
and the next day we laid red roses
on our daughter’s grave and ate
our Christmas dinner in front of the TV.

Thank you to Wendy Pratt for letting me use this poem. It’s taken from When I think of my body as a horse, a collection that makes me ugly cry. I find it immensely moving, and I wanted to share it for all the people who find Christmas emotionally complicated. It’s not all tinsel and jolliness. Wendy has published four collections of poetry and is widely published in magazines and journals. She is a columnist for Yorkshire Life magazine and was the first female editor of Dream Catcher magazine. She is the creator and editor of Spelt magazine. She is a great course leader, and you can find her here: and on twitter at @wondykitten


8 thoughts on “Day 23: Christmas Eve

  1. This time of year is really harsh for so many. I find Christmas a very tough time. I think I always have in many ways. I like how the tone of rebellion brings comfort while the starkness of loss remains. It’s very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a startling, honest, two-hanky poem, reminding us to honor that which makes us fierce even or maybe especially at Christmas. Thanks for the heart which you have kept full for us this year.


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