I remember him
sitting in his armchair
rocking slowly back
& forth smoking a cigar.
There’s no such things as
Santa Claus, he said bluntly.
You’ve outgrown it, kid.

That afternoon the snow
fell faster as I played
by myself in the yard.
Grandfather watched me
from his window
as he added up what all
my gifts would cost him.


“Luke Baldwin’s Vow” at age 5, 1955

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