Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

{Below, with apologies to Clement Moore, author of "A Visit from St. Nick" is the story of my first birthday in Mexico.]

Las Mananitas - Christmas 1997
A Bit of Mexican Magic

'Twas the morn before Christmas, when all through the house
The doggies were stirring, disturbing my spouse.
The sun had not risen; a chill filled the air.
No sleep on my birthday! Now this wasn't fair!!

Since the dogs had already deserted their beds,
No thought of more rest remained in our heads.
I shook in my nightie while Chris made a flap,
Rolled over and mumbled once "hell" and then "crap".

When out on the drive there arose such a clatter,
Chris sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tripped over a table and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the cobbles below
Gave light on our workers all lined in a row.
When what to our wondering ears should appear
But three mariachis all brimming with cheer.

Las Mananitas - Christmas 1997Angelina, our maid, so merry and quick,
Directed the scene; oh my, what a trick!
With music and clapping, the voices they came.
They whistled and shouted and called out my name.

On chinos! On loafers! I dashed and I stumbled.
Grabbed keys from the table and cursed as I fumbled.
Out onto the porch and then round the wall.
Tripping and zipping my pants lest they fall.

As "Las Mananitas" rose in the sky,
My hands clasped together. I thought I would cry.
I scanned all the faces to see who I knew:
The maestro, the gardener, the whole building crew!

And then, in a twinkling, I glanced on the stoop
A pot of canela to warm this bright group.
As I threw out my arms and was coming around,
Angelina embraced me at once with a bound.

She was grinning so broadly - at least ear to ear -
As her daughter and son at her side did appear.
"Happy Birthday!" they cried (but in Spanish of course)
And it seemed that the party was just building force.

Her eyes - how they twinkled! Her dimples - how merry!
A live little angel or maybe a fairy.
With Spanish and gestures, she led me to know
Some rum would be right to set all aglow.

Or perhaps some tequila (not skipping a beat),
Or even some vino would really be neat.
"And SeƱora, a little to fill up the belly:
Some buns or the cookies you filled with the jelly."

I turned to the house, to my spouse gave a whistle.
He flew for the rum like a shot from a missile.
But I heard him exclaim as he drew out of sight,
"What party is this - in the dead of the night?!"

Then presents they gave me, but not from a mart.
Of the little they have, it was all from the heart.
Of stone and hand-gilded, a carved angel head.
And flowers and candles with ribbons of red.

At daybreak, the workers all turned with a jerk,
Bade us "Adios!" and went straight to their work.
I am warmed, I am humbled, from head to my toes.
Finer presents than these, I am sure no one knows!

Eileen Bergen

Las Mananitas - Christmas 1997[Credit: digital snowflakes and Christmas word art by Scrap Girls.]


Mohit said...

yeh Eileen, wishing you a merry christmas

Barbara said...

Happy Birthday Eileen!!!! And a very Merry Christmas!

Hugs XX


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