One Christmas Eve (story poem)

Winter Moon

The wipers beat hypnotically,

matching the song on the radio.

He was lost, he knew it,

on a lonely country road in the snow.

He thought about pulling off the road

and waiting until the morning light.

But with it being Christmas Eve,

he wished to be home this night.

 

Suddenly the car swerved sideways

and slid helplessly off the road,

Coming to rest against an evergreen tree

causing the limbs to release their load.

He sat there shivering,

lost in thoughts of his family.

When a tapping at his window

brought him back to reality.

 

David peered through the glass,

Beside the car an old farmer stood.

He was well over six feet tall,

gray hair escaping from under his hood.

“Are ya hurt?” the old man asked,

David shook his head no.

A smile broke across the rugged face,

“Come on then, let’s get out of this snow.

 

The old man held out his hand. “Ethan Todd,

My place is back here a ways.

It’s not much,

But it keeps me and the missus warm most days.”

David was startled,

How strange he have not seen this place as he drove by?

Candles lit every window, luminaries on the porch,

Unknowingly he gave a sigh.

 

“Pretty isn’t it?

Mother and I like to dress it up for Christmas.

But… the townsfolk think we’re crazy,

going to all that fuss.”

As they entered the door, Ethan called out to his wife.

“Sarah, I found the poor soul.

Mother, this is….?”

David held out his hand, “David Cole.”

“Well David, have some tea,

while you two decide what to do.”

“If I could just use your phone…”

“We got no phone, would you like some stew?”

That was when David realized,

this home was very unique.

It reminded him of his Grandmas place,

every item was an antique.

“No, thank you, I need to get home,

My family must be worried about me.”

“I’ll take you to town in the sleigh, Ethan offered,

while I hitch it up, warm up with some tea.”

About half an hour later Ethan returned.

“She’s all ready to go.”

David thanked Sarah for the tea and stew

and they went back out into the snow.

The ride into town seemed short,

Ethan told stories of him and his wife.

When they finally reached the outskirts,

David felt as if he had known them all his life.

David eased himself down from the seat.

“Thanks again Ethan, I’ll try to bring my family out.”

“Sure, David, we’re here every Christmas Eve.”

The old man said as he brought the sleigh about.

What an odd thing to say, David thought,

As he watched the sleigh disappear in to the night.

After it was gone he walked toward the garage,

In the foggy snow, a muted light.

“Where is your car?” The mechanic asked.

“Out by the Todd farm, near the old highway.”

“Did cha walk all the way to town?”

“No, Mr. Todd brought me in on his sleigh.”

“Todd…..Ethan Todd?”

“Yes, do you know him?” David smiled.

“I know of him, but I’ve never actually seen him!”

his voice as excited as a child.

“Why is that so strange” David asked.

“Ethan and Sarah Todd died over a hundred years ago!”

The mechanic then related the story,

about another Christmas Eve, another Christmas snow.

“They loved decoratin’ with candles,” he continued.

“Yes, I saw them,” David murmured.

“Their house caught on fire, unfortunately they were inside…”

He went on but David didn’t hear another word.

Later, while the tow truck hooked up his car,

David walked beyond to where he had been earlier that night.

Now, what used to be a house, stood a lonely fire place.

he wondered how often the past and present unite.

He had been part of a miracle,

without Ethan, he might have died where his car set.

He couldn’t wait to get home to share,

this is one Christmas Eve he’d never forget.

He stood there a few more moments,

but before turning to leave,

“I’ll be back Ethan and Sarah Todd, he promised,

next Christmas Eve.”