Posts Tagged ‘Sears catalog’

One year, when I was young, we were quarantined.  I just knew that Santa could not come because there was a big sign in front of our house warning him, and everyone else, away.  So, when dad carried me downstairs and I saw what Santa had brought, I could not believe my eyes. This is a true story from my childhood. 


I want to thank you all for the joy you have brought me this year; reading and commenting on my poems. 


A very Happy Holiday to each and everyone and a Merry Christmas too.


So long ago, on Christmas Eve,

In deep Depression years,

I thought that Santa wouldn’t come,

Yet, I choked back my tears,


I’d chosen from Sears catalog

A doll with real curls,

And longed for her with all my heart –

A trait of little girls.


I dreamed my dreams, as children do,

And hung to hope’s thin thread.

I prayed that doll would soon be mine,

Then snuggled down in bed.


Awaking early Christmas day,

I hurried down the stairs,

And there beneath the Christmas tree

Was the doll of my prayers.


Dressed in yellow organdy,

Trimmed with ribbons and bows,

Stood a doll with real hair

Adorned with satin rose.


This lovely doll of years gone by

Had secrets Mama knew.

I learned them later in my youth,

I swear to you, it’s true.


Mama had taken an old doll

With chipped and painted hair,

Then repainted mouth, cheeks, and ears,

And spots where it was bare.


The darling buttoned oilcloth shoes

That my doll would wear,

Were cut from our big tablecloth,

Each stitch sewn in with care.


She then cut up her best dance gown

To make a ruffled dress,

And what she did about the hair,

I’m sure you’d never guess.


Mama cut off her own chignon,

Which really was quite big,

And fashioned long banana curls,

To make my doll a wig.


This gift my Mother made for me

Was matchless as to price,

But what was priceless, had I known,

Was Mama’s sacrifice.


7/7/88     –   Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


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It was our family two-seater

With large adult size holes

And last year’s big Sears catalog

Instead of tissue roles


That little house of weathered wood

With roof of rusted tin

Held terror for the little ones

For fear of falling in


With cracks and knotholes in the walls

And usual moon-shaped vent

You could say ’twas air conditioned

But it didn’t change the scent


Not a person dared tarry there

Which wasn’t a surprise

They’d hurry out to breathe fresh air

And leave it to the flies


I couldn’t stand the wafting scent

Assaulting my poor nose

So when I had to sit out there

I’d contemplate a rose


Two frosted rings in wintertime

In summer, ghastly heat

But the worst thing to be endured

Was sliver in one’s seat


8/9/89      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck



3’rd … Arkansas NPD 1994

3’rd … Indiana NPD 1994

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