The Morning After by Rina Araneta
She saw everything: mama and papa, sneaking
out of the bedroom, creeping
to the garage, carrying
the gifts of all sizes that came
from the car,
arranging them under the tree,
then Mama’s hands filling
the stockings hung on the staircase, stuffing them
with all sorts of candies that came
from a supermarket plastic bag.
When they had finished, mama hid the plastic bag
in the kitchen, while papa checked to see
if he had locked the car.
Then they quietly, went back to bed.
The next morning,
for the very first time, she pretended,
as if nothing had happened. She smiled
when she opened the gifts from Santa,
and she ate as much candy as she could.
From then on, she started discovering that everything
she had ever believed to be magic,
was just a bunch of adults
in the cover of the night