The eyes know it by the glitter:
Twinkle of fairy lights,
Jagged sparkle of twisted tinsel,
Flicker of a thousand dancing flame
Caught in a single joyful tear.
The ears know it:
Tintinabulation of tiny bells,
The oompah of the Salvation Army band
And the clear pure note of a midnight hallelujah.
The hands know the feel of it:
Fiery coldness of snow squeezed into hardness;
The crinkle of paper eagerly torn;
Warm softness of mittens enfolding, protecting.
Anf the feet,too, know the feel
Of crunched down snow firming to treacherous glass,
The sudden stab of the stray pine needle.
Nose knows it certainly,
Though reddened with cold:
The lavender and rose of soft, wrinkled aunties;
The boy-man's unaccustomed splash of aftershave;
Incense and log fires each adding their smoke
To the all-pervading aroma of food.
For mouth knows it perhaps best:
The milky, seductive melt of chocolate,
Sharp tang of satsuma,
Slippery savouriness of gravied turkey,
Sweet-and-sourness of cranberry,
The almost oppressive richness of the pudding-
And the soft pressure of lips, of tongue
Under the mistletoe.
And the heart?
The heart knows.