When…

Christmas arrives in small moments
since they're teens now and rarely grin
when sometimes anger or boredom overrule love
when the slopes seem too icy, the sky too blue for snow, the moon waning its winter brilliance

when that mountain sunrise is the only good part of your day.

when they were little, you begin to tell yourself, but the tears beat the words

and soon the day is upon us,
the cookies all given away now,
the hard-crack candy collecting that last light of day,
when they say they're tired of Christmas yet in the next breath beg its continuation

and you can feel their full presence in your life seeping away as they'll never all just do one thing together,
and you wonder when
there will be no more cookies,
no more cutting down the tree,
no more candy making or dirty bingo,
no more kids in your empty nest

when the moment ends, a softness seeps
between the long and lonely hours,
when they're always in their rooms,
when the waning winter light shines through,
when you wonder... When?

Words

Halfway through your life (am I halfway through my life?), you will have a conversation like this. It will make you think back and look forward at the same time. It will make you question who you are as a human being and who you will be in twenty years as easily as you question who you were twenty years ago.

It won’t happen overnight or over drinks or over IT.

It will happen naturally, intrinsically, like learning a language as if it’s your first, not the one where conjugations rule all and subjunctive tenses make you question yourself.

And you will look into the eyes of the person you knew twenty years back, who saw you for that young and pretty thing who could care for her children and see a new way of looking at yourself.

It could last four hours and feel like four minutes.

This life. This talk. These words.

Oh how amazing they are.

Words.

With a few syllables, you could blow minds or shatter dreams.

You could be the real you, sitting at a table in a restaurant in the only real home you’ve ever known and ignoring the blurred background of life because this is life, and just be. You.

And it could be honest and tear-jerking and laugh-inducing and nostalgic and hopeful and hopeless all within the same five breaths.

And it could have taken half of your adult life to have this talk, though you are still an adult, and have half a life to go.

And it could have halved you.

Or had you.

But that is the mystery, I suppose.

Whether you are had.

Or halved.