Growing

He is wrapped up in Santa jammies.

He is

wrapped up

in Santa

jammies,


towhead bent

over sugar

crisp

cereal

and fingers

curled

around orange

plastic;


Playing God

over a table-top

world

of mini construction

equipment.


This

is the last year

he will balance

on my

knee,


offer me

smushed

marshmallows

to accompany

my cooling

coffee

breakfast,


and wrap his

tongue,

clunky,

around uncertain

syllables.


Next December,

his bubble toes

will peek

from the open

mouths

of big-boy

pants,


my thighs

missing

soft-soled

footy-pajama

kicks


and the padded

press

of his "just in case"

diaper.


He will be

melting

into a little

Man

by then,


Full cheeks

too tough

for gentle

kisses,


and chubby arms

too lanky

for round the neck,

baby-monkey

hugs.


There are ribbons

blooming

from wrapping paper

wreckage

at the foot

of my chair,


cardboard

strewn

in bread-tie tendon

connections

across the

carpet,


and soon

Christmas

will taper off

into just

another

Sunday;


But for today

we are still

at the dining

room

center

of the universe,


little cotton covered

heels

bumping

at my knees,

and my nose

against

the soft-back

of his

neck,


I lace cold

coffee

and

Johnson's baby

shampoo

through layers

of marshmallow

sweetness


and pack it,

gentle,

into the cradle

of my mind,


all wrapped

up

in Santa

jammies.

Celeste Jackson
Celeste Jackson

An aspiring writer and poet currently living on the East Coast with her husband and two rowdy dogs. More work can be found on allpoetry.com, thebluenib.com, and in the poetry anthology "Circular Whispers." Updates on insta @teyanaceleste 

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