(270) “For All” My Family

Martin, Richie, Margie, Matt Christmas Eve 1971

Today I was planning on posting this photo on Facebook just for a throwback.

But then I read Gary Snyder’s poem “For All.” And I couldn’t get the idea of a poem out of my head.

So I wrote my own version which is below. It wasn’t until I was done I realized that I have been influenced by Pope Francis. Last night I heard his off-the-cuff homily at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. His reminder to take care of the children and the elders is near and dear to my heart.

The children in this photo are growing into elders now. One left us long ago. Family is family forever, however. We continue to learn and grow together, even if we are far apart. We live and grow through our memories — those tiny little things that matter more and more as we age.

Here is my “For All” poem, for my family.

Ah to be alive

on a Christmas Eve 1971

holding stacks of gifts

in front of the Christmas tree

blinking lights and icicles

all our favorite ornaments

greeting cards strung like clothes on a line.

Anticipation and excitement

how will we sleep tonight?

jingle bells

singing inside

carol music, chant music

smell of peppermint and spice.

I pledge allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to the

preservation of memory

of all my siblings and

what we shared

one family

in loyalty

under God

with joyful reminiscing for all.

Richie took this picture of me.

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