Nils Peterson: Talk in the Reading Room
About Nils Peterson

 The Reading Room
 Xmas Eve at the Big House 
Christmas Mysteries 
Summers in Long Island 
 Father Arrives in the    Triumphal Car 
 Yankee Stadium Gone 
 A Thing of Beauty 
 Learning From My Father 
 Learning From My Mother 
The Bus


 Next Stop 
 Going to College
 My Lecture on Romanticism 
 A Story 
 Go Way From My Window 
• Singing in the Rain 
 On the Nature of Exposition 
 A Latin Class
 A Hero's Life
 Letter to Paul Cantrell
• Homecoming 
 The Moon and the Bulldozer


Christmas Mysteries

Christmas morning. I wake early to a strange noise from below, and, in my footed pajamas, holding on to the railing, I creep down the shadowy stairs leading from our apartment above the garage to the workroom below. Of all things, there’s my father bending over an electric train whizzing round and round an oval track nailed to a piece of plywood. He doesn’t see me, but I watch him caught as he is in the mystery of train lights, ruby and white, circling in the half-darkness. For awhile I don’t make a sound, but watch him, wondering about his strange smile.

All these years later, I tiptoe down the stairs again, now understanding the poverty of his childhood and the jobless years of the Depression, and I watch him and imagine him thinking — To my children, for Christmas, this wonder.

  © 2014, Nils Peterson

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