AFTERTHOUGHTS

Twas the night
after Christmas
and all
through the house
I noticed
a hint

—just a slip—
of a slouch.

A few times
I saw

shoulders sag
just a bit.
Or a smile
would come
but just wouldn’t
quite fit.

Conversations
would start
but then might
trail away
toward
something
elusive,
something here…
yesterday.

Was it boredom,
or sadness,
or something
more deep?

I couldn’t
quite tell,
until all
went to sleep.

It was then
I remembered
my own
younger days,
and how
Christmas
would shift
each year
that I aged.

The feelings
beforehand
would always
be filled
with
big hopes
and sweet dreams
and excitement
and thrills.

But when
it would end,

the letdown
set in—
even more
as my years
of toys
came to an end.

I’d find myself
asking
(and wishing
I didn’t)
a long list
of things
that felt wrong
and forbidden.

Is it over?
Was it fun?
When will it
return?

Was it all
that I dreamed of?

I’m starting
to yearn

for that
magical feeling
I had
yesterday,
when I woke
to wrapped presents
and a whole day
to play.

I’m so thankful,
so glad,
and yet still
kinda sad.
Something’s missing.
Something left.
Something’s gone
that I had.

Two nights ago
maybe’s
and hope-so’s
burned bright,
as visions of
sugarplums
lit up
my night.

Now it’s over.
Now we know.
Now we’ve got
what we’ve got.
No more waiting
No more wondering.
No more watching
the clock.

And now…

I’m not certain…

which part
I like more.

The waiting
and wishing…

Or the knowing
for sure.

by julie rybarczyk

7 Comments

  • AFTERTHOUGHTS [REPRISE]
    December 26, 2016 - 4:41 pm
  • [FROM THE ARCHIVES] AFTERTHOUGHTS
    December 26, 2013 - 9:41 pm
  • [FROM THE ARCHIVES] AFTERTHOUGHTS
    December 26, 2011 - 10:50 pm
  • Kasha

    You must’ve been reading my mind when you wrote this. And frankly, seeing it in print is a little unnerving!

    NTS: Must work on savoring each moment for what it is and stop wishing it were something different.

     
  • diane

    So true, said the same thing myself (in not so many words)

     
  • emily

    well said – yes. (your writing!!!!!!) the waiting and wondering is so appealing. that shift is still coming around the corner for me….

     
  • Andi

    exactly how I feel… only you expressed it better. 🙂

    I am definitely the waiting gal…

     

Leave a Reply