Ann Keiffer

Magical Purple Pony

Two days after Christmas, my
five-year-old grand-daughter
and I were in her bedroom where
she was showing me some of her
special Christmas presents: cuddly
“lovies” as she calls her stuffed
animals, a pop-up book so
intricate and elaborate I wanted
one, and a pink and white Hello Kitty
radio/CD player cute as a jelly bean.

“Wow,” I said, “You got so
many beautiful presents.”

“Yes,” Daisy said solemnly, “But I
didn’t get the one thing I asked for,
the one I wanted most.”

“Oh, really, what was that?”

“A magical purple pony.”

The pop-book was open to a page
with a lavenderish unicorn leaping
directly out at us. “What about this?”

“No, not that,” Daisy said
emphatically, “I meant a
for-real magical purple pony.”

It made me think how every
year I hope for the Christmas
of yore, the ones at my Grandma
Ruthie’s house, with the tray full
of tangerines, apples, grapes,
walnuts and Brazil nuts and hazel
nuts and pecans all in the shell
and ready for the nutcrackers.

The Christmases with snow and
cousins running through the house
all hyped up on sugar and Santa Claus.
The Christmases with the shiny aluminum
tree with its rotating colors: blue, green,
red, blue, green, red, blue, green, red.

The Christmases when Grandpa or one
of my uncles sneaked out of the
celebration, dressed up in the Santa
suit, and shaking huge brass jingle bells,
stomped up on the porch and knocked
loudly on the door with a ho-ho-ho so
hearty we kids would shriek with laughter
and fear and run straight to our parents,
everybody screaming the obvious,
“It’s Santa, it’s Santa, it’s Santa!”

Someone, whichever cousin was the bravest
among the 21 cousins that year, would edge
up to the heavy wooden door, wrench it open
with some help from Grandma Ruthie, and there,
on the other side of the storm door would be
Santa, standing outside in the snowy night,
black patent leather boots, red velvety suit,
red cap with a white trim and pom-pom, curly
white beard, a sack of presents slung over
his shoulder, his barrel-chested ”Meeeerrrry
Christmas!” floating out white on the frosty air.

Every year I unconsciously long for one
of those Christmases again, a houseful
of kids running about, wall-to-wall family,
sloppy joes, tangerines, powdered-sugar-
dusted brownies, candy canes, Christmas
lights, presents direct from the gloved hands
of Santa, Santa’s non-stop banter of jokes
and ribald innuendos you didn’t fully
understand until you were much older.

That’s what I wish for, for Christmas
every year. Next year I’m going to wish for
a magical, purple pony.

Ann Keiffer/December, 2008


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

Recent Poems

Buy My Book