The night before I plan to take down the Christmas tree,
I crawl from beneath the covers, slip downstairs
and curl up on the couch to read stories of our life together.
The tree rotates, a swirl of colors, as ornaments recount
the years. 1991—“Our First Christmas,”
two critters snuggled in a hollow log.
The merry-go-round of the tree unfolds the years,
one-by-one. Cycles of remembrance unfurl—
the hard and happy times, the growth, the losses.
Upstairs you snore gently. Sometimes we sleep
and overlook those subtle changes—the waxing
and waning of our marriage, of our shared love.
At eleven o’clock (you set the timer) the tree goes dark.
I steal back to bed, hold tight our memories, hold on to you.
Arriving late to the pub for Claudia’s prompt on change. I wish each of you much joy and good health as we wind up 2012 and plot our course for the coming year. I will be traveling this up-coming week but will do my best to keep in touch.
Each year “Santa” places a new ornament on our tree. The tree rotates and is set up on a timer. It’s all put away now.