there’s glitter in the feel of stacked envelopes in the mailbox;
there’s unmatched anticipation in finding a box tucked inside the porch
with hand-written addresses & faded ink stamps & the shine of clear packing tape wrapped around and around.
two-day-old hair tucked under a cozy cable-knit cap.
thumbing through racks of tees, laundry-softened sweaters.
sorting through the rainbow of blacks & browns & deep wines & crimson reds.
one gift card, a coupon and $1.50 later,
there’s a twine-wrapped stack of button-up cocoa brown, ruffle-kissed plaid,
pastel-pine-tree green and basic black in my arms.
a stack of words,
wrapped like glossy presents in laminated library covers.
ever since i was old enough to understand the magic behind words, i’ve chased after them;
standing still in the aisles of tall, metal shelves, steeping in the feeling of being surrounded by stories & the smell of thousands of different pages.
homemade chocolate-chip meringues & swirled peanut-butter-fudge bark;
puffy, hand-made marshmallows with swirls of dark cerulean;
candy-cane-crunched squares of peppermint fudge;
hand-filled, chocolate-drizzled eclairs.
the smell of fresh-baked bread and the bells on the worn wooden door,
walking up to the counter to the usual rapid-fire exchange—
“Cheese? Mayo, mustard, olives, banana peppers, jalapenos, tomato, lettuce, sprouts?”
the shiny, dressed-up frosting i always swoon over tops sugary stockings & candy canes & snowflakes in the glass-fronted cookie case to my left.
it’s a place where they make the soup of the day in a crock pot,
and a glittering magic wand hangs over the pastry case—
“wave your purchase underneath to remove calories!”
wrapping in the whispered glow of tree lights,
catching tiny reflections in the clear strips of tape.
the Faces are arranged on either side of me, my little zen observers,
tails tapping, little paws crossed, half-napping.
the sky promises snow;
the air has that almost-electric feel.
my parents’ front door is trimmed in a captured rainbow,
garland & glinting & green,
bouncing off the white siding as i walk inside to trade fluffboots for sockfeet.
of frosting-loaded butter knives and a collection of sprinkles,
my grandma’s sloppy joe recipe and neon-green-drizzled mint cookies in the middle of the table.
the best days are celebrations of all the splendid small things,
& this one absolutely was.