the peg-rail

A fifteen-foot rail with thirty pegs for Christmas stockings.

At first there were five stockings—for five children. Then the five made Mom and Dad stockings to match, but white-footed. And then some weddings—more white-footed stockings. Then grandbabies. Came the original peg-rail.

Came the divorces, away with some stockings. But then came new partners. Up with new stockings. Came the steps and the halfs. Came the great-grands and recycled stockings. New names stitched over. Came the grace-filled head-nod, the ever-welcome. Comes a longer peg-railing.  Stays the varied blessings.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

12 responses to “the peg-rail

  1. Wishing you all joy in the new year and plenty of new stockings to add to the peg rail.

  2. kerry

    Whew! How exausting! Sounds like my mom’s entry under my name in her address book. Many moves, partners came and went. She always used a pencil when it came to writing down a new address or phone number for me. Lucky for us that I became grounded when Tom came into my life!

    • redmitten

      oh so it is tom who settled you down! there have been some years here where an ex-stocking gets rehung at the last minute…or it gets re-hung with a note pinned over the name and the note has a new name on it. ha!

  3. Brava, Sherry! What a stocking exchange! It warms the heart! Happy new year!

  4. Mary Breckman

    I’m with Kerry.

    And what beautiful writing about a universally American subject!

    • redmitten

      we are discovering now that felt is not made the way it used to be made. i know this dates me, but the felt on my stocking is much finer than the felt we are finding for the great-grandbabies now.

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