Cardboard haven fort pops up abruptly after Baby Owen stands while inside his structure. He grins, his eyes opens wide, and shouts surprised. Christmas Morning. Little toddler in pajamas. Nothing matters more than the giant box. Toys be damned. They can be played with later. But the box – The box is where it’s at. Mindlessly teething on the fort now, Owen’s parents adoringly gaze and pick him up. A head of light brown curls bounce has he now sits on his mother’s hip, sucking his thumb, and gazing at his wrapping paper mess, running like a river throughout his cardboard town.

Jakob stares lovingly at his wife and son. The house smells of coffee and toast, as well as chocolate and peppermint. Santa’s tired this morning after being up all night wrapping presents and loving his wife. He stands and embraces her, kisses her tenderly and closes his eyes, the Christmas morning scene temporarily melting from view, the flashing star and multi-colored string lights dipping to black. There is a small fire crackling in the grate. The room is warm and cozy. Stockings hang from the mantle. Owen received all his gifts with excitable joy and sweet confusion. As Cindy walks away, he breaks off a piece of leftover cookie and chews on the chocolate chip morsel, awakening his tastebuds with cocoa and sugar. A bird calls outside.

Author: Roe

she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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