Goliath horses paired ahead
were harnessed tight in Christmas red.
They breathed out puffs of cloudy steam.
Excitement made the children scream.
My father lifted me on board.
A seat of straw was our reward.
The chilly air, the mountain peaks
brought smiles to our rosy cheeks.
Anticipation of the ride
had brought me goosebumps deep inside,
but air was frigid, maybe that
had made me pull down tight, my hat.
Afford, dad couldn't, warmer clothes.
Inside my boots were frozen toes.
I wiggled them as best I could.
I hugged my mom. She understood.
It seemed too thick and seemed too wide
when scarf, around my neck, was tied.
My mittens too, were very thin.
but knew that soon, we would begin.
There were, on board, a lot of folks,
(while most were quiet, some told jokes),
yet there was room for ev'ryone
and with a jerk, we had begun.
With bumpy trail, I held on tight
with bushes veiled in frosty white.
As trees held high their snowy limbs,
in 'a cappella' we sang hymns.
With Christmas carols, young and old
had all ignored the bitter cold.
As we rode through the dips and swells
our voices chimed with harness bells.
The wagon groaned with heavy heart,
I thought it might just fall apart.
But it did not. It never broke.
That wagon floor was solid oak.
Between those boards as we passed by
were horse hoof tracks that caught my eye
and puffs of grass above the snow
caressed the floor boards down below.
The snowy paths, those horses knew.
God's countryside held quite a view.
The sun went down. I saw the stars.
Our praise was His. His eve was ours.
Like life, the path was very rough -
and straw was not the softest stuff,
but through our love, much fun we had
with brother, sister, mom and dad.
The celebration of Christ's birth
was perfect as His life on earth -
from star above His manger bed
to thorns upon His grieving head.
It brought us joy and we had fun.
Too quickly though, the ride was done.
We couldn't stay. We had to leave,
but I found Christ that Christmas Eve.
This poem won first place for the November 2018 poetry contest