Me and fake Xmas tree
Ho, Ho Humbug
by Jennifer Lagier

Christmas expectations ruin Thanksgiving,
bring on bronchitis, paint me into a corner.

This year our diminished family will gather and grieve.
I mourn the missing and infirm, dread empty chairs.

Cooking baking and decoration require days of attention.
Merchandise needs to be selected, purchased and wrapped.

It’s my job to find, transport, then ornament seven feet
of needle-dropping Frasier Fir, our annual holiday tree.

The to-do list spirals out of control as I huddle under blankets,
cough and feverishly shiver, watch an icy rain spill.

With wheezing lungs, I drop Alka Seltzer tablets
into a glass, pray for relief as the healing hosts fizz.

PHOTO: The author in front of her mother’s fake Christmas tree. (Photo by  Joanne Silvagni.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Holiday stress brings out my worst and usually results in bronchitis.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published ten books of poetry and internationally in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. Her latest book, Where We Grew Upwas just issued by FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal, misfit magazine and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Website:
(Author photo by Laura Bayless.)