One by one I removed what we’d so carefully placed,
the ornaments collected over twenty-five years,
each of which reminded me of some where and
some one – and, too, of the lesser Christmas had now
by those in trouble (in my family, I kept it to that.)
By chance or design (otherwise known as an
algorithm of Spotify), my playlist flowed into
one of old love songs, this tributary in turn feeding
the river that flowed once past our house, there where
Mom and Dad had done their best just
to hang on. “Don’t give,” David Soul sang,
“up on me, baby.”
I fell in love there
for the first (and second and third)
time. Where does it go?
Well, I guess just
back in the box.
First the heaviest ones.
Then a layer of paper.
Then the lighter and more fragile
the skiers and seaplane,
the painted glass balls –
in alternate layers to the top of the box.
“It’s sad… ” sang England Dan
and John Ford Coley,”
as I wound up the lights
and put away the peak.
“I guess that’s all
This undocumented god
seeks asylum in my heart.
I fuss up some papers,
run out the back
and leave the heart to him.
Trucks will head home for the
holidays, and wreaths will have
arrived to adorn doors
and spin like the sun at Fatima.
For those who would pass through
the hoop and the door, the tree awaits,
hoisting its star, a princely, tinsely
medal for the savior.