i finally took down my christmas tree.
she was a beauty. she brought us so much joy.
i hated to pluck the fragile ornaments off, one by one,
and toss her outside. but i know she will break down gently
into the soil and help create new life. she was already breaking down
in my living room: pine needles and sap and bits of branches everywhere.
part of me wanted to leave her there by the window and watch her decompose,
watch her finish her process of drying up, falling apart, withering to bits on the floor,
to see how long it would take, what it would look like. i don’t think this would bring me as
much joy as seeing her fully fledged with ribbons and lights, but in a more tangible way, it would
remind me of my own fleeting life, my own gradual breaking down, my own gentle (de) composition.
in her place by the window sits a large house plant that had been dying in a dark corner. now she can
sit in the sun and revive. she looks at me gratefully, watching me work, watching me watching her.
she reminds me of how happy my father was to sit on the balcony in the florida sun, soaking up
the warmth. there’s a picture of him somewhere in a rocking chair, facing out to the world,
slightly smiling. he knew he wouldn’t make it through another winter; he was ready to
go toward the light … into the light … through the light … to become light.
these are the rituals we need. these are the things we live to observe,
experience, write down, and remember. we do the same things
every year, over and over, as if getting closer and closer to
the bright light center with each magnificent spin.
Note: When viewed in a word doc format, this poem forms the shape of a pine tree on its side. I don’t think I can show landscape view in this platform.