Those out there who know the pain and inconsolable grief associated with having an alienated child might best relate to this poem — and also understand why I am unable to read this poem out loud to make an audio version, like other poems on this site:

(You can ‘right-click’ with the mouse on this image and choose ‘open in a new tab’ and then click the image in that tab again to enlarge, in order to see the larger more readable version — or read the full plain text of the poem below)

Christmas Day 2020
(for my Daughter)

Spiders have still insisted on

Decorating the corners of my dreary room

With their own drab and dusty gossamer

Birds yet hop, crying thinly among

The naked boughs and branches

Seeking the final persimmon

Hanging like a baleful bauble

A pallid winter sun sits low

A bleached and brooding Christmas Star

Atop sad pines mourning the passing of the year

Its wintry light icily festoons the frozen

Landscape laid bare before me

As cold winds continue to caress

The leaves yet clinging to the weeping willow

Tempting them to fly to final doom

And icy fingers also wrap themselves

Around my sundered, aching heart

Holding it together in my heaving breast

Feeling its faint, forlorn rhythm marking

This time that by your malformed choice

Callously crafted by a malicious spirit

You are gone from my life leaving

My soul brittle, barren and bereft

As chilled as this cold world that

Surrounds me on this brightly, blinding

Mournful, mirthless so-called Christmas Day

Copyright © 2020 Al G Smith /