The Secret Behind Mama’s Smile

It was Christmas morning and a thought was forming

inside my little-boy brain,

as I lay in a heap of wrapping so deep

my heart felt a little pain.

“Mama, I’m sorry” my voice was quite jarring.

“With presents I’ve come up short.

“You gave me a ton and I only gave one,

and it’s not even close to store-bought.”

She sat up and there was a flash of her camera

a smile so wide it surprised

for she’d just been divorced, now alone in the house

her and me, me and her, I realized.

“Dear child don’t you worry, I’m enjoying the flurry

in my heart as I go on believing

that one day you will have a heart that shall fill

’cause Giving gives more than Receiving.”

Oh the crazy things a mom’s heart will sing.

She can’t possibly mean all of that.

I gave her a mug, I thought with a shrug;

she must not want me to feel bad.

Many winters since then, it’s Christmas again.

I’ve gotten my share of mugs

and things I don’t need, not another tie please,

as the wrapping spills over the rug.

I sit back in the din, in the house that I’m in.

the days piled up like the gifts

and my mom far away while her grandkids all play

my thoughts, without trying, they drift.

Such love in this life, more than pain more than strife.

I sit with my camera and tea.

Oh mom you were right, my heart is aflight!

I am full, we’re the same, you and me.