With the Whisky dundee, the Yule log, the egg nog, and the Panettone
figure the Santa cookie, and in glass jars everywhere, a cane of candy
with red swirl, like a ribbon, run through its sugary white pith.
But the beauty of this candy isn’t in the hot shade which redden a tiny pink tongue;
It is that today, when the crook was gripped in Tim’s tiny red mitt and
held fast on the lad’s tongue, that candy shed its red stripe and became
a magical wand. And, in a wink, made him sing soft, “jingle bells, jingle bells . . .”
Perhaps he had heard it in the store he and his mother stepped out of, but this
This was little Tim’s carol sung free of the artifice that garnishes older hearts
and makes them resemble the largest, shiniest, heaviest, contemporary steel wreath.
As he set off, with one hand on his treat and the other in his ma’s, Tim repeated that happy song,
innocent of his might, and the work he had done to allow for Christmas to enter the tartest heart.
Thank heavens for him. Thank heavens for those who, like a bright star atop the Christmas tree,
ease these oft dark and burly last days of the year.