Her steps they were weary and slow.
Her heart aching sorely from burdens,
More than any mother should know.
No Christmas tree stood in the corner,
Draped gently with garland that’s bright.
No stockings were hung by the chimney.
Or candles glowed brightly that night.
And morning would come without changes,
No steps on the fresh-fallen snow.
No child would come home after midnight,
And worry his poor mother so.
No defiance in his dark eyes shining,
No grin for he knew she’d forgive,
No slop on the carpet to wipe up.
Just how was a mother to live?
A child shouldn’t die before Christmas.
No mother should bear with this pain.
And as she seated herself in the parlor,
All attempts to be happy were vain.
A soft noise at the door drew her upward.
She turned on the porch light to see,
A scarf and a tattered white T.
Keri was just a poor girl from the ghetto,
With nothing on earth to bestow,
But she thought on that eve after midnight,
The Lord wanted her just to go,
To offer her presence in comfort,
And a hug, that was proof of her care,
To a soul that she knew that was hurting.
For that love was all she could share.
Gale smiled as she looked at the sidewalk,
And the prints on the fresh fallen snow.
A child had come home after midnight,
With a hug and a cheery hello.
Many gifts will change hands during Christmas,
Wrapped in tissue and ribbons so bright,
But none so important and lasting,
As the love that we give on that night.
© S. Craig