Christmas day evening:
kids sat on the floor in the middle
of the living room, surrounded by
presents, toys, wrapping paper,
tearing open the next big box and
waddling over, handing it to me
to release the contents. Sitting
on the couch unwinding plastic ties,
fighting with cardboard – Barbie or
a fire engine lying in my lap, waiting
to escape from plastic prisons.
Leftover turkey, salad, pigs in blankets,
pork pies, yule log. Coronation Street
Christmas special with the subtitles
on because everyone is being too
loud to hear it and there is no catch-up
or on demand TV. There is just shouting
and laughing and glasses clinking and
toys beeping and blaring, fairy lights, a
tree adorned with twenty-year-old baubles
and a wonky star, musty metallic streamers
criss-crossing the ceiling, the glow of
the electric fire, warm bread rolls in our
hands, and the outside world forgotten
even if just for one day.