Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 30/30: Unwrapping the Ornaments

And finally, here is poem #30 of 30 in my November Poetry Challenge. It has been a fun ride for the most part. There have been evenings that I've sat here in front of the computer screen, at a loss for words. And there have been nights where the images wrote themselves. But I've managed to churn out something resembling a poem for 30 days in a row! Some are quite good, some are not so wonderful, and most are probably somewhere in between. But almost all of them wouldn't have been written without my annual challenge pushing me on.

Thank you so much, those of you who have been reading and cheering me on. The feed back has kept me from throwing up my hands in frustration on those nights when the words were awfully slow to come out of hiding.

See you again next year?

Unwrapping the Ornaments

Choose some mellow holiday music,
brew a mug of honey sweetened tea,
and turn on the colored lights that wind
around our man-made pine tree.
All set? Yes. It is time for
a cherished seasonal ritual.
I put the large plastic tote on the table,
and carefully crack open the lid.
Inside are layers and layers
of tissue paper wrapped treasures.
The cheat sheets are on the top.
Almost every single ornament
has a pencil scribbled entry--
who it was for, and from,
and what year it was given.
But I won't need them today.
For each sparkling prize
holds vivid flashes
of memory.

Unwrap...here's the stained glass unicorn
from my high school crush.
I'll hang that one up front and center.
Unwrap...there's a glass globe
with a dusting of fuzzy fake snow.
That one was on my parents' first tree.
Ah...here's a whole cache
of hand made gems.
I have a very talented family!
Unwrap...be gentle! It is the precious
glass pine cone
from Grandma's tree.
Unwrap...A lacy leaf that I picked up
on family vacation through Yellowstone...
and here are the herons
from Sioux Narrows. Same trip? Ummm...
(Ok, I'll check the cheat sheet.
Nope, different trips.)
Unwrap...Ah ha! The unassuming
white plastic ball, found in the attic
in my grade school New Jersey home.
I claimed that one fair and square.

each uncovering of old friends
brings bemused smiles
and moments of quiet reverie.
My hands pause,
touching my past,
turning people and places
over in my mind.
And then, I place the jewels
on the twinkling branches,
and ring them round
with an exuberance
of golden tinsel.
There...finally complete.

My Christmas tree may be artificial,
but it does grow beautifully
year to year,
and its roots go so very,
very deep.

Melissa McCollum

No comments:

Post a Comment