The Ghosts of Christmas Past

I lie and watch TV on Christmas Day with no desire,
really, to glean anything of value from it, not understanding
half of what I’m not seeing, and not hearing, this wealth
of words and pictures, a wall shooting at me, mostly missing
loved ones from and forming the past, TV more an interference
for all that I’m thinking, trying hard to commune with those absent now, 
wallowing in a kind of gooey interior movie awash with too much
sentimental melodrama clouding real times of genuine words
binding my mind to them, the living ghosts and the dead, some sensibility
that can’t quite capture the heart, what with TV noise and schmaltzy script pages,
overlayed by gauzy time and memory warp, my connecting effort
to live fully with them at this moment, on this day held sacred, by some,
holy yet as ice and fire were to generations long before me, my old blood
beating some their beat, boiling at some memories like some kettle, fit for tea,
listen for the whistle, that single signal the water’s all done up, a cup
now to stir, images of them whirling in the water, with my fingers,
swirling all the words we had or didn’t have but should have, an endless count,
amid the TV’s buzzing, snatches grasped and gasped, some a gut punch
of love, and it lost, found, never been, family, friends, all my past,
and I see the screen, want to scream some, smile some, pondering this sentence.

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