2016-01-08T09:53:04-08:00January 8th, 2016|Parenthood|

Christmas tree

Our Christmas tree sits on our deck
stripped of its ornaments
out of place and odd-looking
like a naked elf
that missed getting back
on the sleigh

I was so excited
to pick it out with you
we leaned them up
against your back
inhaling the happy pine smell
looking for one
that was exactly
your height

and of course
we wanted a lonely one
just like Charlie Brown’s
so we finally chose
one that was lopsided and thin
and you thought about it
for a long time before you named him


and then you told him
that you would love him forever

which I thought was sweet
until we got home in January
after our trip
and I tried to put away
our Christmas stuff

we fought about you hanging
the wreath on your bedroom door
and that sleeping
with the plastic Santa
would be uncomfortable

but the topic of the tree
brought tears
and incredulity
as though I had announced
I was throwing away
Granny Pat

but tree is part
of our family

you can barely get the words out
before burying
your face in a pillow

I rub your back
explaining how everyone
gets rid of their trees
and then you sob louder

can we adopt them all
please mama

which is when I decided
we would make a home
for tree on our deck
and we would keep him alive
as long as we could

because I realized right then
that what is wrong with the world
happens when people stop loving
what everyone else
calls strange.

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