Saturday, December 25, 2010

Empty Tree Skirt -- Poetry 2010

Now the insanity of day after Christmas sales…
wrapping paper is barely in the trash bin, torn from
a plethora of packages heaped under most trees.
Dinner is barely sucked down and dishes done…
harried store employees barely catch their breath
from last minute sales before exchange assaulted.
Can you tell me the point of all this madness?
especially the getting into debt for gifting – how is this
a spiritual expression since that was the original theme?

When my kids were little I was partially caught up in it;
their friends would list all their presents like a catechism.
Memorized by rout, the list left out clothing – a dismal gift.
Even their stockings were full to the brim with expense;
My kids mostly smiled and nodded not chiming in to out
do or out list this expansive seasonal tree treasure trove.
I’m sure they were disappointed especially as they got older
when fewer and smaller boxes contained a few expensive items.
There was never enough in my budget to go gift crazy.

Today the tree skirt was alone under my festive tree…
not one package graced the gold and cream brocade.
Shifted gift presenting to the 21st the year my mother was ill;
thankfully my Mom and kids had a little sparkle before she
passed on the 23rd... that really finished off the whole holiday.
Yes, a few new traditions sprang up but the gift giving
became optional as my father in his simple wisdom said
Save your money, I have everything I need… it seems silly
to give me gifts I don’t need and all those sales the day after –
what’s the point… being together is more important.

The last few years have found me with a slim budget;
scraping together enough for a tree was even difficult.
It’s the one tradition I want to keep; something about the
scent, sparkling ornaments, soft lights kindles that spirit
I remember as the most important symbol of short light
days, past family gatherings, festive feasts, and love…


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