Christmas kisses

By Anne Casey


We never had it

It was something you saw in the movies

old ones re-running on tv

that handsome couples

teasingly kissed under


Chaste tristes in black and white

like the pure white

berries of the mistletoe

But perhaps a bit waxen

Somewhat wooden


I remember my father laughingly

kissing my mother once

under a holly sprig

It seems more apt

So much more like love


with its pricks

and bright red shiny beads


“Christmas kisses” was first published in “The Irish Times” newspaper on 30 December 2016. This poem was also published in Anne Casey’s poetry collection, “where the lost things go” (Salmon Poetry, 2017).

Artwork: Ghost Garden (2010) by Jane Theau. Published with permission of the artist.