NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 30: Advent

white calendar on white surface
The pitter-patter of rain
on my windowsill sounds
like the ticking of a clock
winding down to frigid
temperatures, when the
water droplets will freeze
to dust and the countdown
to Christmas commences. 

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 27: Debacle of the ‘leftover’ mac and cheese

overhead shot of a plate of mac and cheese

The morning after Thanksgiving I wake up craving leftover mac and cheese—only, we didn’t eat the traditional feast this year. Sure, there was turkey, but we chose corn chowder over mac, casserole over stuffing, yams baked rather than candied. But I have all the ingredients—the milk, the cheese, the elbows. No one has to know it’s not actually leftovers— only, the milk is low, so I add vegetable broth, and I’m all out of cheddar cheese, so the ricotta, pepper jack, and parmesan will have to do. The noodles are…the jumbo size. Did I bother to read the box? The cheese sauce looks way too soupy. I’ll add two beaten eggs and bake it in the oven at three hundred and fifty degrees for thirty minutes. It’ll taste…


Well, at least I didn’t experiment on Thanksgiving.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 24: Holiday tradition

A Thanksgiving Senryu

I'm stuffed like a bird
football game watches me sleep
leftovers for days

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Birthdays after 21 suck…

man with party hat celebrating birthday alone

Today my baby cousin—whom I call my son because I dreamt of his birth before my cousin even announced that she was pregnant—is turning one, and though he more than likely won’t remember this birthday, I have one piece of advice for the little guy: Enjoy these while you’re young because once you get to be my age, birthdays pretty much suck.

Continue reading “Birthdays after 21 suck…”

Drunken Christmas Party Haiku

Puncture wounds like
fangs sink into bottom lip,
not from pelting sleet,

ice picks falling from
sky, but eggnog-induced kiss,
mistletoe provoked.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons

Criminal Santa (Part 1 of 3)

Frankie’s gift sat in his lap unopened. He plucked at the bow, ran his fingers underneath the creased flap of the wrapping paper, thumped the sticker on the box: “To: Frankie. From: Mr. Claus.”

His mother had her head under the Christmas tree, checking for overlooked presents obscured by low-hanging branches pulled down by overweight ornaments. Finding none, she drew back. An ornament hook caught a Styrofoam roller in her hair. Cocking her head to the side to undo the roller, she looked at her son, his face downcast.

“Why won’t you open your present, honey?” she asked.

Continue reading “Criminal Santa (Part 1 of 3)”

Holiday Shoppers Anonymous

busy shopping mall with large decorated Christmas tree in center

She twisted the sleeve of her Frosty the Snowman sweater and stood before the semi circle of people. “Hi, my name is Sharon, and I’m a holiday shopaholic.”

“Hi Sharon,” the group recited back, their voices echoing off the walls of the empty high school gymnasium.

“Last Chris— I mean holiday,” she stuttered.

“No, no,” counselor Higgins interrupted. “Say its name. You must remember the holiday you are celebrating. Recognizing Christmas and what it represents…” he waved his hand for the others to repeat after him. “Love.”


Continue reading “Holiday Shoppers Anonymous”

He Knows If You’ve Been Bad…

Maury released the weight of the candy he had collected into his mother’s purse. Santa’s float was next, and he needed to be light on his feet if he was to race the other kids to the parade’s final treats. Santa always had the best candy.

The children emerged into the street, waving to Santa, standing on their toes to get a better look. Maury stepped out further—so close, he could almost touch the float. “Over here!” he called when he saw the brown paper of the Snickers wrapper in Santa’s white glove.

Santa winked and threw it over Maury’s head. All the children dove for the candy, but Maury was quicker. He snatched up three Snickers minis bars and a Jolly Rancher hard candy and stuffed them all in the front of his pants.

“No fair!” a girl wearing a Queen Elsa winter coat whined. “You can only get one!”

Maury stuck out his tongue. “I bet you won’t put your hands in my pants and take it!” he teased.

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Santa was standing now. He turned around as the float passed and pointed to Maury. “Your greed just put you on my naughty list!”

© 2015 Nortina Simmons