Poem - Are You Alone For Christmas?

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Are you alone?
The last one left
In your family?
Or maybe
The only one
Not invited?
Is everyone happy
Except you?
How will you explain
The whys
To a daughter
Trapped
Inside too many goodbyes
How will you explain
Your absence
To a son
Caught
In your inability
To be a presence
In his life
But do you cry
Or become angry?
Who can you blame
For the misery
And the burning flame?
What of a lonely man
Buried in memories
Of a happy past
That will not bring comfort
Today
Memories that await
To torment
Refusing to relent
As the answers
To a burning heart
Point to the idea
Of departing
This cruel world
To kill the pain
And join his family
In heaven
What do we say
To these people?
How can we make them happy?
How can we make them see?
That they are not alone
And that their tears
Form a torrent
With our own
To wash the pain
Away
To bring us closer
To see that others
Suffer as we do
And that we
Are the answer
And they
Answer for us
Yet we remain
Unable
To join as one
So we cry alone
And hope
For hope
And a future
With a child
Or a memory
Or a loved one
Or a stranger
Who sees in us
The fear and despair
That lives
Inside of them
Fear and despair
That only another human
Can understand
Tell me your troubles
Don't make me happy this Christmas
Make me sad
Because of your need
To tell me
To unburden yourself
Yes... make me sad
Burden me
So I can unburden you
So I can make you happy
Knowing that you can cry
And validate your worth
As a human being
And not an unfeeling
And uncaring
Soul
Make me sad
We will be sad together
And then we will be happy
And then we will become
What we are
Love
Because
We can give
And receive
Blessings
Together
And
We will remember

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Comments 55 comments

Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

There's so much feeling, pain and thought here...

I've spent Christmas alone in the past without feeling lonely, however in the same breath I know what loneliness can feel like..

I think we can all relate to something within these lines. Thank you SP.


Vincent Moore 5 years ago

The burning hell of losing one's family in shame for want of two spouses fighting their pain of war and roses and blame, the children being used as pawns as the game is played while the other takes the children from the other and the children spend Christmas shunning the parent who has been cast into hell.

He/she suffers alone with the loss at Christmas, the family unit is destroyed and one parent walks in the shadows alone in pain.

This poem rated UP for holding truth and sadness at the same time...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Ashantina - I have a friend who was in total despair yesterday. He posted a picture of his deceased brother on Facebook and is facing a Christmas alone (his father is gone and his mother is apparently incapacitated mentally and physically). We talked and others came to his aid...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Vincent - yes... thank you... it is real.. both scenarios painted in the poem... too real...


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

Beautifully done.............. it's a difficult scenario. Kaie


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Kaie - thank you... it's just a reminder that many are sad but it can help others see the blessings they have and deserve...


azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 5 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

This brought tears to my eyes...for I have a dear friend who is suffering today, being kept from his children. I only hope that the woman responsible for his despair will see the light, and understand that while she is teaching him a lesson for leaving her, she is crushing her children's hearts at the same time. Sometimes I wonder if people really "think through" their actions and understand the true evil that they are creating..... Wonderfully told story...thank you.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@azure_sky - this piece is not to depress anyone but to remind that many wish to participate in the good cheer but find themselves on the outside looking in for a variety of reasons... sometimes it is of their own doing; sometimes it is because of another person; sometimes life itself says no. Not everyone who has lost their smile at Christmas is a Scrooge...


ralwus 5 years ago

But I have had enough sad holidays in my past. If it makes you feel sad though, the wife's 89 year old uncle passed yesterday, memorial this Sunday and funeral Monday. Sad for his family. Rated up and awesome and beautiful. Merry Christmas to ya now. Charlie


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@ralwus - thank you Charlie. I'm sorry to hear the bad news about your wife's Uncle. I know I'm just another random person on the internet but please pass my condolences. It's a tough time for many people but that is so unexpected. You have a Merry Christmas too.... Mark


ralwus 5 years ago

Ah, I never really knew him, but I will pass it on to Shirley. Thanks. CC


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

You got it...


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

There's great truth and beauty in your poem which does indeed highlight the difficulty some people face this Christmas. I faced that kind of loneliness once and decided to deal with it by helping another out. That connecting helped me. Thus we are all connected and take hope in that thought. Thanks for bringing such truth to light.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@chspublish - thank you. I've been on both sides of these feelings; I've had the most picture perfect, Norman Rockwell Christmas holidays that lasted for weeks culminating in a wonderful morning with my children; and I've been alone... giving and sharing is the way through it all regardless of your circumstances...

Mark


CheyenneAutumn profile image

CheyenneAutumn 5 years ago

Poet - I have spent the last 8 years or so alone at Christmas... at least physically - My heart, however, is filled with thoughts of those many more at Christmas then I could ever fit into a single space. Sometimes all the gift one needs at Christmas is to know someone is listening. Merry Christmas to you! I am sure this poem reaches many this Christmas.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Cheyenne - thank you and I hope you can continue to feel the strength inside you... Merry Christmas and continue to celebrate life...

Mark


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love."

~Author Unknown~

I have been on both sides of the Christmas too, alone and with family. And what a blessed feeling to know that a smile, a kind gesture, a word, or a few words can touch someone who feels that despair, that pain of being alone, feeling intense loneliness that fills a heart and soul with pain.

May no one ever have to feel that way, and if not, the world a much better place.

Thank you Poet for your haunting beautiful words.

Merry Christmas!

Blessings and hugs,

Laurie


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Laurie - thank you for taking the time to care and write such a comment to me. Yes a smile can give someone the inner worth that is needed at times. A simple smile to give someone their life....


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

I have a little family around, but I feel like I am an unwelcome tenant, so yes I feel alone. I am still happy. In writing I connect with others, as You have Suburban poet. Your words are sending healing to your friend, and others who don't feel so alone now...The best, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, 2011 and beyond.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@LillyGrillzit - I'm sorry you feel isolated at times... that is why a day like Christmas at times can be such a curse. Hang in there and I hope you have a good day and a better 2011...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You show great compassion and understand in this poetry. I especially liked your response to a comment that "Not everyone who has lost their smile at Christmas is a Scrooge". Exactly right on. Merry Christmas to you.


Justsilvie 5 years ago

Beautiful poem! Holidays are often difficult when alone, but then some people feel very lonely at this time even in a crowded room.

Hope your new year is filled with peace, good health and happiness.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Hi suburb poet!

Merry Christmas. I am with my family of origin for he first time in I do not know how many years and still there are painful splits in our family which erupted last evening and tempted me to go to that lonely, why me, why us place. But I resisted. A wonderful verse and a wonderful poet.

Merry Christmas

Vern


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Amy - thank you and yes, so many of us want to have the spirit and show it to everyone yet we can be beaten down so much that we are unable to get our chin up...

@Justsilvie - thank you and yes that is the case; alone in a crowded room... have a great holiday...

@Vern - I'm glad you were able to resist old habits... I had to suck it up a bit myself today and I'm glad I was able... Have a great holiday and new year.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

I'm home alone and it's alright. Fresh snow all over the place. Great pictures. Warm house. Great stuff to read like this. God bless!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Micky - you are very strong... some are unable to see the beauty in front of them as you described because the curtain of life has dropped in front of their eyes... there's always next year...


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Beautiful, heartfelt and captures the angst of loneliness so well. You are a gifted writer .. Merry Christmas!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Docmo - thank you and Merry Christmas to you too...


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 5 years ago

I think this one could be broken out into stansas really. It asks a lot of interesting questions and begs the curiosity of one's reader as to how much of the subject matter comes from your own frustrations.


TheHopefulPoet profile image

TheHopefulPoet 5 years ago from Florida

I really enjoyed this poem and can fully relate to it as I did spend my Christmas alone this year. My husband is in Afghanistan and my two children live with their father. I fully understand the idea conveyed here in this piece of wanting sadness for with out the ones you love sadness is all you have to hold during the holidays. I hope this is not how you spent your holiday.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Jaggedfrost - thank you for commenting and your suggestion... there seem to be some natural breaks for stanzas... my frustrations are there but also the frustration of others...

@TheHopefulPoet - thank you and I'm sorry if you were sad. It was just one year and hopefully next year will be different. I was alone for a while and then the tide turned in my direction....


dianeaugust 5 years ago

This poem tells the truth of where so many are during the holidays. And it tells the truth that LOVE is the only thing that can heal the dark wounds and make the light. You have said it so well. DA


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@dianeaugust - thank you. Everybody wants to be loved and during Christmas all the smiles create a bitter contrast for those who are sad.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Such a magnificent poem, filled with truth and compassion. How much it means to those of us who have lost family members (I lost my son). It is comforting to know that someone out there understands how painful and difficult the holidays can be. We hide our pain, that others may continue to enjoy and celebrate. You are a beautiful person, and I am thankful to have met you here on HP.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@vocalcoach - thank you for those incredibly kind remarks. I am truly sorry to hear that you lost your son. That is what I fear the most... I have two children and there is a vulnerability there that is always lingering just below the surface. People feel like they SHOULD be happy at Christmas but the pressure of buying gifts that you possibly cannot afford and the need to smile and be cheerful when in fact you are suffering in a private hell is something I wish all of us would consider more....


Salliebb profile image

Salliebb 5 years ago

Very lovely and moving! Life is so sad for some people,


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Salliebb - Yeah unfortunately some people suffer in the middle of a party... I just wanted to turn the light on for those people... at least let them know that we understand...


Sarah Writes profile image

Sarah Writes 5 years ago from California

The holidays are such a happy time but only when you have someone to share them with. Your piece is a true reminder that Christmas isn’t about gifts and great food, both things are worthless if you are alone.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Sarah - thank you for commenting... yes it can be brutal for those who have little in the wsy of family or love... it's the same on Valentine's Day with seemingly everyone in love and revieving flowers....


Beberlee profile image

Beberlee 5 years ago from Philadelphia

I love this poem.. Really relates to me..


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Beberlee - thank you for commenting and I hope you relate in a way that is not a reflection of pain but of how you feel... we all go through tough times and we just have to continue to march to the other side.


X-Dplus-X profile image

X-Dplus-X 5 years ago from Poughkeepsie

nice work


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@X-Dplus-X - thanks for commenting. Sorry I took so long to get back to this...


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Bittersweet poem. A sad reality for many. Thank you for sharing.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Sunshine - Thank you for commenting. I'm sure you didn't read all the comments but I wrote this for a friend whose Father, Mother and only Brother have all passed and he was really down last Christmas. I wanted him to know we were thinking of him.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Mark, I did read the comments and was sad for your friend. I have a close friend that I thought of while reading it as she will be alone without her family but has great friends. This poem hit home for me. Thanks again:)


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I am actually uninvited this Christmas. Family is all over. But, i actually enjoy Christmas alone. I get to watch the movies i want, eat what i want and watch Dr Who on Boxing Day


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Susan...Hub Hoppers are never alone:) Enjoy your holiday!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

even though the holidays are a happy and joyous time, we must remember the many people who are alone and despondent. Good work!


empire mike profile image

empire mike 4 years ago from empire, colorado

mark, the title of this drew me to the first of your hubs to read, as i spent my birthday and holidays totally alone for the first time in my 58 years, less than a year and a half ago. wish i had been here then. your sadness would have been strangely comforting. there are indeed a lot of us out there. thanks for your empathy, even now. great job!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Sunshine - I'm sorry to take so long to respond. Thank you for your comment. It's tough for many people and not just at Christmas.

@Uninvited Writer - I hope you are happy. For me my few hours alone that morning was an eye opener of the power of holiday and how it can summon extreme emotions.

@PDX - Thank you. That is exactly the point of my hub.

@Mike - Thank you. I guess maybe I would have felt the same had I known you when I wrote it. I drove around that morning, detached, looking for a place to eat breakfast with a feeling of negative self-consciousness that I had never experienced. I walked into a Luby's restaurant and they all looked at me and said, "we're not open yet." I actually felt humiliated by this. But it was just me putting expectations on a day or a moment in time and I knew I still had many blessings. But it was a very good experience for me in terms of awareness.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Mark, your poem reminds us that there are different reasons for being alone on days normally shared with loved ones. After being devoted to my family completely and being the main cog in its holidays for 18 years, I was suddenly alone in a city of strangers, where I spent every holiday for one entire year entirely alone. I stayed there in hopes of reconciliation with my children, to no avail. Mother's Day was probably the most difficult. The following year brought several lonely holidays, too - though I'd thought it would be different when I returned to Texas after that first year. That first Thanksgiving all the apartment residents who were around the complex addressed ourselves as fellow-orphans.

I guess it provided some hard-earned lessons about life and how to live it optimally, no matter what. Resources are discovered which are less subject to the whims of others - with the own concerns. What is most amazing is the feelings of genuine compassion for those who are able to be oblivious to or uncaring about the one who is left out, even if it is oneself.

I know this is an early hub for you, Mark - but when I noticed that Mike had visited it, I could feel his reasons to. I'm glad I did. It's an excellent poem and treatment of the subject and displays your own compassion. Perhaps the depth of one's real compassion is result of the depths of hurts one's experienced and above which one has risen.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Hi Nellianna - I'm sorry for your difficulties but I think we all have them at times and just have to fight through them and figure things out. This poem was inspired not only by my situation but also because of a friend whose parents and only brother have passed on. He was in total despair and was openly lamenting all of this on FB. I felt bad for him and was concerned about him taking his life because he was making allusions about this. He seems to be better now thank God.... Thank you again for commenting in such a thoughtful manner. I don't know if this is a poem; it's more of a feeling piece to let people know that I understand.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you. I quite understand, Mark. Your friend's sorrow over losing his parents and brother to death, never to see them on Earth again, is perhaps the greatest loss of all. How very sad it would have been, had his lamentations overcome his own life-force. Perhaps you had a role in delaying and defraying that level of despair for him. . . . an example of empathy in force.

I've experienced that kind of final family despair, as well. My eldest sister, her husband, their three young boys and the maid all perished in a ghastly train-car crash on Dec. 13, 1953. She was 35, I was 21. It was an accident I would (or should) have been in, helping with the children in lieu of the maid, - had I not defiantly left Dallas after I graduated the prior June, against her wishes and plans for me. There's no way to describe - hardly any way to fully even remember the multiple layers of anguish of that.

Along with my own, the intense grief of losing their first-born beloved daughter and her family nearly crushed our parents, as well. I can't be sure i didn't have a nervous breakdown when I returned to their home, hoping to comfort them; - at least it was a sunstroke from moving from inside an air-conditioned building in Houston for all those months to the glaring sun and brilliant reflections of West Texas. I was close to the edge. At the least, It altered my life.

My life has moved along well - including its stops and starts, bumps and challenges. I needn't mention these experiences for sympathy or for any personal cause except to demonstrate for others who might be caught up in their own bumpy path, what you and I both have learned about life, Mark:

It is never a matter of having difficulties or not; - of course, this 'goes-with' life, inescapably. What it is, - as you wisely point out well - is the manner in which each of us lives through them and how we let them deepen our senses of the value of life and its precious relationships. Continuing on - alive - with the awareness of all that makes it matter.

Would I have preferred those times to have been different? Sure, but they were what it was and there's not a delusion or a wish or a dream of 'otherwise' to compare with life in its many facets, with its many lessons and natural consequences of the choices each of us makes and paths each of us takes. We're not omnipotent but we can and do learn through the lessons which simply come with the territory. I can't and don't regret; I value the deep feelings & relationships brought into my consciousness. What IS - instead of what is not.

Hugs, Mark. I truly value you and your vision and ability to communicate it so well! Yes - you DO let people know that you do understand! Bravo.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Wow Nellianna. That is just an unbelievable tragedy. I'm sure it was devastating to have heard the newes way back when. For you parents; what a nightmare. I have two children you know and I just couldn't imagine at this point losing them. You are so strong to have lived through something like this. I have not had to endure this kind of trauma. My best friend from college was up this past weekend and he just lost his wife to melanoma last fall. I've written a few things here for them as they went through it all. It changed him quite a bit but he's doing ok. He has two children and he has to soldier on.

I believe my poem did help my friend. He was very surprised that I took the time to write it up. He's doing better now but I think he is still fragile because he can't seem to get his career in order.

I love how you open up on my hubs. It's really what this is all about and you have my love Nellianna...

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