I was prompted by Ms. Tina to post a rather revealing piece of poetry I wrote several years ago. I say revealing not because I’m a cryptic poet wishing to be understood by a cruel world of uncaring non-poetic illiterates, but because I try to keep my humility by a somewhat self-deprecating lifestyle.
My ‘Twas A Poinsettia for Christmas tale is a short narrative based on an actual event. An event that now stands as one of the most embarrassing moments a master gardener could ever endure. But if you look closely at the photo, you’ll see how one can be easily fooled by the modern marvels of synthetic engineering. Try if you will, to choose which of those three poinsettias is but a simulacrum.
It is my Christmas wish that all of you have a most happy and memorable holiday season. May joy fill your spirits, and may you always keep the child-like wonder this season brings; the wonder of unexpected things, the wonder of what love means, the wonder of life’s endings and beginnings.
It was a week before Christmas, two years ago I think,
We had no poinsettias and I was feeling quite pink.
A house without poinsettias at this time of year
Is not very conducive to holiday cheer.
We usually have two or more for shelves and on floors,
But had not purchased even one yet and the house looked a bore.
I don’t grow tall paperwhites as lots of folks do,
They get floppy and their odor is, well, just plain P U!
I used to grow amaryllis, their blooms are pretty and big,
But they got just as leggy as paperwhites did.
I needed poinsettias to make Christmas right,
Poinsettias in red and poinsettias in white.
So I planned to buy some and buy them real quick
For Christmas was coming, and with it Saint Nick.
I knew where to go, whom to see, what to pay,
But worried they’d all be sold out on that day.
Oh how elated I was when I saw hundreds lined up
In pots and on end caps in the aisles towards the front.
I rushed to the flowers and eyed them with glee
I picked out the prettiest one I could see.
Gently now, gently I set it in the cart,
And slowly rolled towards the checkout part.
This was the most beautiful poinsettia I had ever seen,
And I carried it home oh so carefully.
I knew just where to put my new beautiful flower,
On the mantle next to the miniature angel choir.
This poinsettia topped all the rest,
It glowed as none other had glowed in the past.
I watered it well taking care not to drown it,
Then I went to my chair and sat down for a moment.
My wife was due home, I was excited and proud,
“I love poinsettias!” she’d often say very loud.
She came through the door and stopped at the mantle,
For a moment I thought she looked a bit rattled.
And then she sang out as if in an operetta,
“Hey Hon, where’d you get the fake Poinsettia?”
“Fake??!” I shouted and ran to the flower,
My hands were shaking, my mouth turned sour.
“Yes, it’s silk,” my wife said with a chuckle,
and when I touched a fake leaf my knees almost buckled.
I couldn’t believe I had thought it was real,
I even watered the thing, how dumb I did feel.
So now when I see poinsettias out,
I’m warmly reminded of my very real doubt
That Santa will ever let me forget
Of the time I watered a very fake plant.