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Ghosts of Christmases Past

I remember Christmas Eves spent in emergency rooms
after loved ones overdosed, suffered panic attacks,
convulsed and hallucinated from alcoholic withdrawals.

Holiday carols bring flashbacks of Christmas Day burns,
cuts and bruises, carving knife malfunctions
that resulted in stitches or severed pieces of fingers.

Each year resurrects ghosts: resentment, chest pains,
shingles, pneumonia.

All I want from Santa is an uneventful Noel
without blood or drama.

Jennifer Lagier has published nineteen books and has appeared in a variety of journals and edits The Monterey Poetry Review.

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