Down comes the big angel
from the very top
blowing his horn
Christ is born.
Then a veritable crop
of lacey stars and snowflakes,
glass balls of silver and gold,
glass reindeer, German, delicate, old –
don’t drop them for heaven sakes –
little angels, Santas, of felt and of wood,
items like circus seals with balls on noses –
no ancestor who bequeathed them would or could
explain their relevance, one supposes,
to Christmas. Dismantle the mantle: Wisemen, Kings,
baby Jesus; grandkids’ stockings, now empty.
Lastly, take apart the tree,
after boxing all these things,
and fold its plastic limbs into a coffin-shaped container
as if embalmed until next year: it’s a no-brainer
that I too have lost my topmost decoration
as well as, below that, much of my ornamentation
at age eighty-one; my limbs of flesh, not plastic, await inhumation
one day, or cremation, but my dismantling, while not embalmed,
will be by my faith becalmed,
and become a new creation,
beyond political liberation,
emptied of myself, emptied of things.
© by Robert Sonkowsky.
Used with the author’s permission.