Reverie ~ A Christmas Poem

The tree stands bare in the spill
of white candlelight
that beckons remembrance,
the still air laden with pungent pine.
I unwrap memories
lifted from silk-worn boxes,
and passing years emerge,
reflecting faces mirrored
in each round and shiny ball.

A piece of crumpled tissue drops
and here is the rocking horse
suspended on a crimson string
that marked my son’s first outing,
creamed soup with his aunties,
when he was three. And here,
the fading Polaroid photo
of my daughter’s smiling face
pasted in the middle of a holiday bell,
the sparkling glitter reminiscent
of her five-year old’s laughter.

An angel carved from sea shell
reminds me of my once best-
friend, now divorced
and distanced. We birthed our
daughters the same month.
A cross-stitched cherubim
handmade by a companion
along the way who died
too young takes center place
near the top of the tree.
A widowed neighbor designed
the snowman decked in felt,
with his black pipe,
for each of my mother’s
daughters some forty years ago,
and the sweetgum ball covered
in tin foil by the hands of
my husband’s father, gone
ten years, is a mirror
of his own Christmases past.

Like rainbow-hued lights,
heart-rooted presence is wound
about fragrant branches
that fill the room
reaching to the ceiling
evidence of the many incarnations
I have lived–
precious as the first brush
of silent snow.

© Rosemary McMahan

Photo: Rosemary McMahan