New Poem by Marie Louise St. Onge

Epiphany

Marie Louise St.Onge

It’s time to remove what has grown into an overstatement

despite its simple beginnings when you mindfully,

with each in-breath, placed each white light on the intended branch

just before the snow fell and the temperature dove to a lower

more chafing number. When you consciously hung each angel and bird,

and all of the dreams from that year, a fair distance apart.

One a gift in ‘52, the next in ‘54, then one from ‘57,

others scattered throughout decades. Their wonder still calling,

their stardust still falling.

 

It’s time to wrap each of the memories away, to lay them

one by one onto an imperfect sheet of tissue paper

and with every fold breathe a goodbye just as gently

as putting a child to bed. It’s time to set them into the box marked Christmas

where they will wait in an almost forgotten musty place

for three seasons until near the end of this new year when we begin

the ritual again. And who will arrive for that next celebration, who will

be with us still, who will be gone – wise men, an uncle, a brother,

Mary, dear friends, nieces?

 

It’s time to give the tree back to the forest where it can offer,

one last time, a shelter of sorts through long blustery nights

where the few strands of tinsel still holding on will refract light

just the way we remember the star – a perfect glint in the night sky,

night of marching toward Bethlehem, the Bethlehem of fable,

the story that wants to keep telling itself, the story we want to believe.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, when thoughts of

a childhood unscathed settled in, and then just as quickly

away they all flew like the down of a thistle, like something not true.

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