The day after Christmas has always been the day folks rush back to return gifts. Things get to return to “normal.” Some people return home from visiting relatives for the holidays. So it is fitting we write a ”return” poem.



We’re on an information highway,
traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum.
With instant information gratification,
who needs fact memorization?
Surely it’s time to table times
and periodic elements.

But, no.
For learning stirs a yearning.
The churning of knowledge
and haulage of speech and fact
actively draws us.
gnaws at disinterest, and
erects a monstrosity of curiosity.

Learning reaches us.
Teaches us.
And in return,
we learn.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018  

I'm sorry I'm late!  For now, I returned to a poem I wrote in 2018.  If you want to see my cutiepatootie granddaughter in my original post, take a look: 



Another year has come and gone
and I'm done with my mission.
My condition is not so serious.
And I'm not delirious, my time
in the suit has come to another sad end.
Just as it had begun, another year
has come and gone. I return the red suit
to the box, cap in place and the beard
that graced my face has been
stowed away. I have no clue 
if I'll return to this station
or get to don the threads again.
It thrills me if truth be told,
I don't think I'll ever be too old
to serve my time as Santa Claus.

(c) Walter J Wojtanik - 2021

113 thoughts on “PROMPT #366 – MANY HAPPY RETURNS


    The Christmas table tends to be
    a regular groaning board,
    the kind intended to promote
    camaraderie and accord,

    so that is why I cycle back
    for seconds, perhaps even
    the third and fourths the icebox holds
    for enjoying the feast of Stephen.

  2. Love your piece, Walt. Here’s hoping you’ll be donning the threads for many a moon to come. Happy New Year.


    When I return,
    may “peace on earth” not be a dream;
    when I return,
    may love be easy to discern
    beneath the sunshine’s warming gleam;
    may peace segue from dream to stream
    when I return.


    The steering prongs of the dawn are but a song,
    to aggrieve the sleeping, rile the dead from sleep.

    Tis the torturous noise of clatter and bird,
    a vile conspiracy of sorts, to pry one’s eye a peep.

    The broad hymns of sweltering skies piddles a tune,
    to encroach the hearts, enkindle one’s lazy veins.

    Shouldn’t they know by now? The manner of the sloth?
    Where all wakefulness is utterly disdained?

    He is dumb and deaf to all concerts of the world
    hearing naught song nor siren, none to make him wroth.

    He only knows the champion ecstasy of dreams,
    his prized possession—a pillow. That, he’ll always keep.

    Benjamin Thomas

  5. Returns

    Before the time of allowances,
    forced to come up with creative ways
    to earn money, my friend and I trudged
    door to door pulling a borrowed wagon
    collecting pop bottles.

    We cashed in the returns
    and purchased plastic sheeting
    and thumbtacks.

    We hauled our loot up the hill
    into the woods
    and created our cabin
    stretching the plastic sheeting
    between trees.
    The plastic roof kept out the rain.

    Quite proud of it,
    we and my sister
    decided to spend the night.

    Since we built it on a hill,
    we place a board at the base
    between two trees.

    We slept fairly well,
    but the morning found
    all three of us scrunched
    together at the bottom.

    We kept our cabin occupancy
    to the day time,
    enjoying our little home away from home
    till some town boys
    thought it their duty to rip it to shreds.

    True to the adage,
    they returned to the scene of the crime.
    We gave them an earful,
    which didn’t faze them,
    but my neighbor tattled on them
    and their parents forced then to apologize.

    We never did build it back
    but went on to new adventures.

  6. Reminiscing

    Living between two eternities,
    we always return
    to where it began
    I mean, nobody really cares
    what your major was,
    what you used to do,
    who you used to be,
    what your title was.
    I fully grasp the desire,
    even the burning fire,
    to return to how it used to be,
    the good old days, but…

    Everything is temporary.
    It’s helpful to know that,
    to let that be enough.
    What new opportunities await my yes?
    What more do I have to offer?
    Appreciating the past, yes, but also
    engaging out,
    reflecting in,
    enjoying the now.
    Welcoming newness.
    Creating willingness.
    Being grateful for everyone.
    Today is so very special.
    New Beginnings always are.
    There is so much to be joyful about,
    and, satisfied, we might capture 
    bits of today’s breezy brilliance,
    enlivened by the simple pleasure of it all.
    We can check our pulse, appreciate our heart,
    check our mirror, give it a thankful smile,
    grateful for this good day, today.

  7. Pingback: Return with the Snowglobe | Experience Writing

  8. Banking on the Circle

    Drought year and the pines dry
    too exhausted to drink and revive
    so you take this last warm day
    to return the Tree back to nature
    the next farm’s goats in a feeding frenzy
    later maybe or just shelter for snow birds
    threading in and out of stiffened needles

    So you return the blown glass ornaments
    that you bought at the fire sale at the TG&Y
    to their gold boxes complete with
    their original price tags of $6.99
    and how you didn’t even have a tree
    that year or so many ‘nexts’– just banked them
    for some future you couldn’t have
    predicted and you tuck in pine cones

    Their plaid woolen bows soft
    against your fingers the way your mind
    caresses those few soft memories
    return silver filigree butter-and dragonflies
    to their boxes beneath crumpled tissue
    nestle the rustic crèche into its worn box
    and then that last bit of ritual the tucking in
    of the cards from your kids grown now
    but the cards never seeming to age even
    though the ink fades, how you slide them

    beneath the lid and the bubble wrap
    that sheathes the bronze Madonna
    alongside Joseph with his staff and the
    angel shaking stars from her fingertips
    the whole of it returned to find again next year
    some karmic circle drawn against fate
    banking again on more happy
    returns in the belief however tenuous
    that Christmas past will once again
    become Christmas present.

  9. Beautifully done poems today, Walt and Marie! Well written poems for us all to see!


    Giving away my chocolate stash
    Seemed important, maybe rash

    Yet children were coming to my house
    I couldn’t leave any too small even for a mouse

    Fill those stockings, as full as they can bear
    Fill the toes, put it all in there

    It will delight, I’ll see those smiles
    Very well worth it, lasting all the miles

    Let them taste it or smear on fingers
    Best flavor ever, it thankfully lingers

    A tinge of sadness as it goes out the door
    I looked around, there wasn’t anymore

    It wasn’t too long that I had to wait
    Christmas was here as was my fate

    Four different people gave me their gifts
    Knowing what I love, offered uplifts

    In came more chocolate in so many ways
    Turtles, truffles, the mint kind, loved always

    I couldn’t help but gush and certainly blush
    Regrets of giveaways, instantly turned to mush

    My stockpile was full to overflowing
    Leave it to friends and family for knowing

    But I think the chocolate knew as well
    With none in the house, it’d be an easy sell

    Better bring it by so she’ll have her delight
    After all, it bargained, it was Christmas night

    Joy given away seems to love to come back
    Now it is in front of me in one big stack

    Chocolate has obviously been heard and seen
    I have a tasty royal flush, I am the queen

    Only trick now is to stretch it out
    As long as I don’t ever have to go without

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  10. Untitled 5/7/5

    Think on what you’ve learned
    from your since-adjourned seasons
    and all the reasons

    you are who you are.
    Record it in your memoir
    for those who return

    to turn its pages
    ages from now, in search of
    keys for their cages.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2021

  11. No Returns

    We’ll return the toaster
    And return these pants
    But we’ll give this jacket
    Another fighting chance
    What about this thingie
    Whatever it be
    We’ll have to regift it
    To your cousin Lee
    I think this is yours
    ‘Cause it’s not my style
    Don’t know how it got
    Mixed up in my pile

    Now wait! What we doing?
    How ungrateful we be
    These gifts bought with love
    They gave you and me
    We’ll use them or wear them
    With thanks in our hearts
    When we’re all together
    Even when we’re apart
    Each gift has a meaning
    Though some mysteries
    Important to someone
    No matter what they be

    So we’ll keep it all
    No returns this year
    It’s all in the spirit
    Of true Christmas cheer

  12. The Return Line

    I never liked standing in the Return Line
    It made me look like I didn’t appreciate
    Some of the presents that were under the tree
    When in truth I already had the same thing
    Or maybe something didn’t fit just right
    Either way I felt a little on the awkward side

    But I have observed some interesting people there
    Some who were miserably unhappy with life
    While others were bubbling with positivity
    And then there were those that were unreadable
    Not happy, not sad, not miserable or anything else
    The kind of person that would make a good spy

    I always wanted to be a spy, or an astronaut
    Or even better, an astronaut spy on the moon
    It would have been better than standing here
    In the Return Line with all these other folks
    There are enough people in line to man a crew
    For that spy ship on the way to the moon

    But I digress
    It’s my turn
    For my return
    Or exchange
    I forget

  13. It’s Time

    It’s time to face the music of reality
    That nasty little virus is here to stay
    Just like the flu and other variants
    We’ve just got to learn to live with it

    We’ve got to work back toward normal
    Live and take our chances once again
    Life’s a gamble no matter what may come
    And it’s high time we quit living in fear

    They must return all our personal freedoms
    The freedoms to choose our own path in life
    Just like the Founders intended us to live
    And the way God created us to survive

    It’s time to say “NO!” to the overlords
    Before they tie our souls to their goals
    It’s time to face the music of reality
    And let God be the One in total control

  14. Pingback: On the Bridge Of Rose Lane – eastelmhurst.a.go.go

  15. Away
    Into the box I go,
    I know,
    my stint was brief
    upon the bough,
    my life has been like that
    Into the tote my box
    is laid
    the dark gets darker.
    Less afraid,
    year by year I
    must return
    to attic spaces where
    I’ll yearn to be again
    put on the tree.
    I wonder where
    my place will be?
    Higher, I hope,
    Perhaps next year.
    The crown, the edge,
    the front, the peak,
    a higher, brighter limb
    I seek.
    But still, no bauble
    can be bright
    unless the tree
    stands in the light.
    I’ve got a year
    to think and pray
    until that glorious
    tree-trim day.
    © Damon Dean, 2021

  16. The Hunger Returns

    Traveling to Arizona and California last month
    satisfied a hunger in my soul.
    Visiting with family.
    Playing in the ocean.
    Basking in the sun during winter.

    But like I’m ready for a meal
    four hours after the last one,
    I’m ready to travel again.

    Like my tummy growls when I’m hungry:
    My eyes search for something new.
    My fingers itch to pack a suitcase.
    My feet long for the feel of the gas pedal.

    Some folks understand this and some don’t.
    Regardless, I must deal with it,
    and I’d rather fulfill it, than starve myself.

  17. I wish I could return

    The day before Christmas eve,
    I knew something was amiss…
    Just didn’t know what it was…

    Your call on Christmas Eve
    Broke my heart and stole my solace…

    You are dear to me…
    And I have lost so much…

    I never wanted to hear those words
    Cancer in the fourth stage
    Connected to you.

    You are hopeful.
    I am prayerful.

    I want to go back to the day before…
    And gather my strength
    For storm coming towards me.

    But life doesn’t allow us to go back
    To that point we have no knowledge.
    It is times like these
    I really wish
    Eve hadn’t taken a bite
    Of that forbidden fruit.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 27, 2021


    Tis the splitting birth of splintered light,
    amid the pangs of horizon’s surefire blood—

    A humid, belligerent brawn of emergent dawn
    snakes wistfully past branch, limb, and bough.

    Spilling happily against damp, deprived fields,
    setting scores of twiddling wildflowers aflame.

    The diffusive, wailing cries of the infant day,
    jubilate the Robin’s song, soothes her tender verse—

    While light’s familiar wings brighten dark things,
    her vocal chords laud her precious name.

    Flooding the fleeing shadows with another tune,
    and awaken a sleeping, slumbering earth.

    Benjamin Thomas

    (Apologies to Cole Porter)

    When I return the retourne,
    it brings back a night of dropsical writing;
    it sends a muse I thought was inviting
    when I return the retourne.

    That French form’s once more deserted me
    and down by the shore my muse is decrying
    my self-pitying as I sit here sighing
    when I return the retourne.

    To write it again is past my endeavor
    for that bloomin’ form laughs at my pen,
    so here I am, swearing off it forever
    and promising not to do French again.

    So please let me return the retourne.
    Let the form that was once a fire, fade to an ember;
    let it sleep like a dread desire I only remember
    if you return that retourne.

  20. The End of the Year…

    Most years I do not want
    To go back and live over,
    But there are a few moments
    That I wish I could have again…

    I would like to spend more times
    With phone calls to and from my friends,
    And one in particular who is special.

    I would like to live all those joyful days
    Again, for there were many.

    I have loved the nights
    I took a ride out to see the moon shining,
    Or wake up to the bright morning light of the sun.

    The moments my nephew
    Cleared up places that once I loved,
    And thought was lost to me forever.
    I am so thankful for those moments
    For they gave me hope.

    I thankful for all the hugs
    And best wishes I have had…

    I remember the moment
    I finished writing my third novel…
    The third one I have finished in two years.
    Not bad for an old broad,
    Who plans to make ninety.

    Those times I learned something new
    Understood something I had not understood before
    Still make me smile.

    The year is at an end,
    And there were hard times to be sure,
    There were good ones,
    And I just want those good one to grow
    In the coming year…

    I promise
    I will savor each one of them.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 30, 2021


    The auspicious sound of returning rains
    brings about a certain kind of delightful glee.

    The steady pitter patter of plop after plop,
    in continuous succession of grand symphony.

    It is the unquestionable promise of green things—
    to bring about the vision of kind, unseen things.

    Such as the applicable beauty of its essence.
    A shell of the seed, that once denied its very own presence.

    Now a full blown manifestation of the hidden—
    A powerful designation of the life it’s been given.

    Benjamin Thomas

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