I wrote this poem last year, two days before Christmas. Two days later, it was no longer relevant. So this year I am posting it a whole FOUR days before Christmas! I had it ready for the SpeakOut slam in Kitchener, but sadly I never got to perform it since I crapped out in the first round. But here it is now!
ps. after I post this I am going shopping. fail.
Tick tick tick
T-minus two days till Christmas
and of all the places in the world, somehow I have decided to go to
the Eaton’s Centre – egad!
amidst the swarms of shoppers stressing out over
sons and daughters and nieces and nephews husbands wives
lovers grandchildren friends coworkers acquaintances neighbours –
all who need to be shown some sort of appreciation
some sort of object to express affection
some sort of filler for the emptiness caused by a year of
not calling, not listening, not being good enough, so here’s a little something I bought, for you.
I don’t know how to be a better person but I do know that
I can buy it all wrapped up for only 29.99
put it under the tree, check it off my list, cause that wipes me free of any, guilt.
After a year of being not-this not-that –
Not thin enough? exercise machine!
Teeth not white enough? teeth whitening cream!
Not green enough? biodegradable everything!
You know, Santa says if I’m naughty I won’t get presents.
Well I try, I try to be something, rather than naughty, rather that not,
so here I am buying a little something for you,
to show you that I am not, show you that I am not, not good enough
Tick tick tick
T-minus two days til Christmas and the crowded escalators subways and stores,
the pushing shoppers through revolving doors,
the gleaming extreme of the 20 foot swarovski Christmas tree,
the fountain that shoots water two storeys into the air,
this dog and pony show, shop til you drop fair,
all this to make up for, in-one-day, all the things we were not this year,
makes me want to implode, makes me think our society is
a ticking time bomb ready to explode
if we were to ever open our eyes to the absurdity of our lives
And here I am, the day after getting home from a stressful term at university,
holding a pistachio almond ice cream cone,
holding the hand of my 9 year old sister Katie,
who happily licks her superkid single scoop,
and I wish, I wish I never brought her here.
I wish I too had been more this year than a sister who didn’t visit, didn’t call, didn’t email,
that I brought her to this place,
the mecca of civilization’s consumerist materialist capitalist face,
to buy her a Christmas present, to make up for not being good enough.
Yet Katie, she knows better, or maybe she’s just still innocent, cause I take her
into the candy store that has giant gourmet eight dollar chocolate dipped apples,
the toy store with ipods, Nintendo DS systems,
and all she wants,
is a purple hat and a blue watch.
Her old Spiderman watch broke she says.
and she’s tired, can we go home now?
T-minus two days til Christmas, and I’m holding Katie’s hand,
eating ice cream from Laura Secord,
and that’s the last thing I’m buying here,
Cause all this stuff, is way less than I can afford, to give.