I walked all the quiet night
through the snow to his home
with only the winter moon
lighting the path ahead.

Limbs of fir trees
hung low on each side
as carols sang in my head.
Silent night,
O Christmas tree,
Singing sweetly o’er the plains.

The crunching of snow
kept time as I trod,
one happy foot
in front of another.
Frost formed on my beard
as the broad brim of my hat
filled slowly with crystal flakes.

The smoke of burning pine
told me I was there.
And before I could knock
he let me in
through the heavy oak door,
polished from years of use.

I stood before him,
his back to the fire,
wearing a heavy wool cloak
down to his knees.
He seemed to know why I had come
and waited for me to speak,
gazing at me
with his blue-gray eyes.

“I never told you
how much I love you.
I didn’t tell you
how grateful I am
for all you did
that has made my life worthwhile.
I never said what you mean to me,
and how my whole life
has been saying thank you.”

He laid his hand on my shoulder
and smiled a smile
that lit up my heart
as it lit the room.

I smiled back,
and stood there
for a forever moment.
Then turned to enter a new morning,
and walked the long trail home.

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