In this memory it is Christmas time.

I am behind the bureau 
in our childhood bedroom.
White-walled, bunk-bedded,
colorful hearts on my blanket
and yours
And I’m quiet, listening to our mother
tell company about the time I woke her up
on Christmas Eve.
Santa hadn’t come yet;
no presents. 
I thought she should know.

You are not with me
in the pile of stuffed animals
and discarded socks where we’d hide.
You do not hear the lesson
on being thankful for what you have
regardless. You ran first.

Two men of the same checkered cloth.
Yours shirked off
as the caterpillar decides
to molt
instead of cocoon
and replaced like a new fur coat.

I watch you and your new husband
this cold winter morning,
and stoke my bitter coals for warmth
though my heels
like a match dragged across a brick wall
are on fire from leaving.
I pull your heart blanket tight,
and think I’ll call our mother.
Tell her Merry Christmas
and, by the way, Santa 
didn’t come this year either.
I think she should know.