Monday, December 29, 2008
Oh Christmas Tree
Circle of Garland
Unwind the gilded trim
that wraps around the girth.
I stand alone on one side
ready to continue the circuitous
route round the Christmas tree.
Thirty-nine years ago
I began to pass the garland through
to the able hands of a tall, handsome
man, a Tampa Police Officer,
my husband, my love. Bill was only
twenty-two and we were so full
of hope and promise.
Thirty-five years ago
I passed the gold ribbon round the tree
only a third of the way do I go
to pass the garland through to tiny hands
my daughter with blonde silky hair
and the hazel eyes of her father.
She says a prayer as we go round
she asks God and Santa for a baby
sister or brother, soon please
she hands the garland off to her father
and he to me with a smile.
Twenty-nine years ago
I walk the garland around the tree
only a quarter of the way, it's run
around by our precious daughter
passed on to the tiny hands of her
baby brother who babbles his
way to his father who tenderly
helps him return the ribbon to me
me and we wonder at this precious
gift, the joy, sheer joy of life.
Throughout the years different hands
have passed the garland round,
my brothers, friends, foster children,
a Little Sister or Brother, our children’s
friends, neighbors or a co-worker
all alone. The garland was so easy to
put up with so many hands to help.
This year, after a hiatus,
we put the Christmas tree up
again. Years after the death
of our beloved son, when our lives
unraveled and spiraled, it takes a long
time to find new traditions at this most
precious time of year, years before the pain
subsides enough to allow life in.
I unwind the garland from it’s bulky roll
glittering gold ribbon I unfurl
pass through to the other side
to one pair of hands that touches mine.
Bill hands it back when he does his side
and waits while I cry and I wrap.
One more time the garland goes round
and I look at his eyes that tear up with
remembrance of what was, with joy
now of how much we have
as I touch his hand once more.