Christmas Parable

You find yourself drawn to
the shiny, bright paper
and smartly tied bow on the
biggest present under your tree.

The other, smaller gifts
in plain wrapping, tied with string,
remain shoved back under
the branches, nearly forgotten.

You grab up that dazzling box
and begin to hungrily rip off
the ribbon, tearing the paper,
throwing it aside.

Your impatience grows when you find
bits of tape holding the lid securely
fastened and grope for your
pocket knife to slice them through.

At last the present is opened,
you peel away a final layer of tissue,
and in an instant feel your heart plummet
from throat, straight down to your toes.

You force a smile to spread weakly
across your face and politely proclaim,
“Just what i wanted,
socks and underwear!”

Making an excuse that your coffee cup
is empty, you retreat to the kitchen,
leaving another package
ignored beneath the tree.

The gift in a plainly wrapped box,
tied with brown string,
small and unassuming,
the one with diamonds inside.

© 2016 DM Shepherd


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