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The Melancholy of Growth


By Erika Saio

 

It’s Christmas Eve of 1992,
I play with Barbie dolls.
The new family next door has a son my age,
He’s known as Caleb Ands.
We jump and slide and play ‘til sundown,
I make a new best friend.
Our family tradition is to have a feast,
Of steak and chicken potpie.
Aunt Sally sings, Uncle Jeremy laughs,
Cousin Todd tells ghost stories all night.

It’s Christmas Eve of 1997,
I run through sprinklers now.
The kids laugh at me for spending time with a boy,
He’s known as Caleb Ands.
We leap and jump and tell stories ‘til sundown,
I feel warmth and sweaty hands.
Our family tradition is to have a feast,
Of steak and chicken potpie.
Aunt Sally cooks, Uncle Jeremy talks,
Cousin Todd brags of puberty all night

It’s Christmas Eve of 2002,
I’m constantly on my phone.
I see my boy at the holiday party,
He’s known as Caleb Ands.
We laugh and talk and kiss ‘til sundown,
My heart makes room for him.
Our family tradition is to have a feast,
Of steak and chicken potpie.
Aunt Sally sleeps, Uncle Jeremy watches TV,
Cousin Todd texts girls all night.

It’s Christmas Eve of 2007,
I’m visiting home from college.
I go to the graveyard to visit my love,
He was known as Caleb Ands.
I cry and sob and scream ‘til sundown,
And swear to treat my kids right.
Our family tradition is to have a feast,
Of steak and chicken potpie.
Aunt Sally drinks, Uncle Jeremy smokes,
Cousin Todd does not come at all.

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