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First Christmas

Three months old,
you weren’t what I expected
with your missing gifts: sight and swallow
my mood was midwinter

I could not muster the necessary
festive joy for my childhood home
where cards would be strung
across walls like Christmas tree lights

On Christmas Eve, a hearing test
the letter requested the baby asleep
at eleven am, as if I could wave
a magic wand of compliance

The waiting room wore sad tinsel
but we cheered at moderate deafness
and the audiologist smiled, relieved,
usually people don’t rejoice as if she’s

given them just what they wanted.
On Christmas Day we ate spaghetti
bolognese, everything was changed
but your father raised a tree

and instead of the Queen’s speech
I watched your face reflected
in a red bauble, into the branches
your tiny hand’s first reach.

Alexis Wolfe is a writer and poet living in Berkshire, UK. She recently had a first poem published in the Milestones Poetry Anthology. Her creative non-fiction has been published in Mamalode and The London Reader. She was a runner up the Writer’s & Artists short story competition 2016 and winner of the Retreat West Creating Characters competition. She is working on her first novel. 


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