Day 115 – Christmas Eve 1, 2, 3

Friday, December 24, 2010
Day 115
2:55 am

Christmas Eve


Auntie Sue always has a special
treat for us, every year being different,
perhaps a magician for entertainment
or a singer-songwriter in a Santa suit
with his portable keyboard

There’s always the sharing of
a dirty joke she’s learned while playing
Canasta during the previous year,
followed by Christmas-themed puzzles
and gambling for candy or nickels

She was in top form this year,
hostess at her prime, dealing cards
for Pass The Crap, packing to go bags
for everyone, and paying the Sushi Man,
this year’s surprise, never missing a beat

We wonder, as I’m sure I’m not the only
one, how many years more like this
might we have together, more little kids,
fewer older folks, and us in the middle
looking around in amazement


I’m wasn’t sure why the tradition had slipped,
our family photo time in front of the fireplace,
the adults photo, the kids photo, as we’ll
never cease being the kids, and each family
taking turns at the brick next to the tree

Until I noticed all the tiny cameras lying
around the living room on this particular
Christmas Eve, and recalled Dad was the one
with the big camera and good lens, the
one urging us to get organized

What happened to his camera? Will I have it
in me next year to follow in his footsteps,
take his place, make sure we all squeeze
together and take pictures, all of us, even my
tiny, shrinking family, all of us?


Out of nowhere, as older folks have license to do,
Uncle George was going out the front door
to walk home early, not letting anyone follow
behind him, too stubborn to have us young kids
watch him beyond the borders of family tradition,
every moment with its limits, he turned to me and
saw me looking at his leg, tight next to his cane,

“Everyone would say,
‘Let me know if you need a ride to work.’
But your Dad, he’d just come over.
He’d just show up and say,
‘Okay, let’s go.’
Man, i miss your Dad.”

Shaking his head as he turned away, turning
me into the tree outside on the sidewalk,
rooted through the floor and thrown
by the wind, as there is a reason
every year to be overwhelmed,
to be grounded
and taken in



About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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