Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas


Our First Christmas Tree 

The countryside his common
wealth: holly, ash plants
his to harvest as required,
kindling in spring,
mushrooms in summer,
blackberries in autumn.

That winter we insisted,
so he took his saw
into starless dark
far beyond the stables,
guided by barbed wire,
returned with a trophy tree.

We crowned it with a silver-paper-covered
cardboard star, hung homemade ornaments
and tissue paper novelties,
pretended to be happier.

I bought one this Christmas
daylight, sized and packaged,
legal, lacking the challenge
of something on the margin,
the tang of trespass,
infant irritant
on the noisome
vain empire of excess.

from Asking for Directions (2012)

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