Greatest Gift | Pittsburgh City Paper

Greatest Gift

By Jimmy Cvetic

It's hard to explain to those that have everything
That there are those who have nothing
I watched an attorney's wife
Smack him on his little dome
Because of my swearing.
Guess no matter how hard I try to tell her
It wouldn't make a difference
But these are true stories.
Real people I met along the way.
Like the joke of little Johnny who liked to swear
So his mom hid all his presents
And put shit in his stocking
And little piles of shit around the tree.
So that morning when he woke
Johnny was running around real happy
And when his mom asked, "Why are you so happy?"
Johnny said, "I know there's a puppy here somewhere."
That's when I was six years old
It was Christmas Eve
Just like Johnny
I was running real fast
Around the Christmas tree
And the empty stockings
And the colorful red and green lights.
I was moving faster than my little feet could carry me,
Strung out on candy canes
And great anticipation
My sister stuck out her foot
And I tripped
Flew past the strung Christmas cards
And mistletoe
Right into the corner of the old wooden TV
Striking my coo-coo
Landing headfirst under the tree
Next to the Nativity set
Baby Jesus
And Joseph
Knocking over sheep
Landing next to the three kings
Under a camel's ass.
My block was bleeding real bad
And I was seeing stars
Christmas balls
Icicles and angels
But by the strength of love
My mother picking me up
And carrying me to the big red couch
Holding me on her big lap
And I was crying.
Could taste the salt tears
And was real scared.
Could feel the warm blood
And pain on the noggin.
My sister's yelling,
"Ohhh shit!
He's going to need stitches."
My mother gently rocking me
And her soothing voice and my sob.
But my father, who was a wise old man,
Closed the wound with his steel-mill-strong fingers
And dishrag pressure.
Stopped the flow of blood
And wrapped my head like a Christmas gift
With cotton gauze
And a Christmas garland bandage.
I'll never forget my father picking me up
And I rested my wrapped head on his chest
He carried me to my room
Stopping at the colorful painted windows
And I remember the cold frost and he wiped the cold window pane.
I saw the bright heavenly stars.
In my life I was never more secure
And warm
And it was the greatest Christmas present any child could
Ever ask or ever have in the whole wide universe.