A Poem in The Meeting Brownlee Anthology

Pleasantly Pagan

People with smiles like scythes.
Trees die in living rooms from coast to coast
Their needles, dry, dying in the shag.
Plastic glowing Jesus, a plywood manger and a chipped enamel Mary.
"Happy Holidays!" "Season's Greetings!" Melba Toast sentiments.
"Peace on Earth?" Piece of the pie, where's my slice?
And as children plod their way down the stair
with fearsome Doc Marten clad feet
Hands like claws rip rip paper
To reveal heartbreak at unreceived gifts.

And I think about

Sun stretching short shadows among the slabs.
Grass at our feet, alive, struggled this far through winter.
Fruits, nuts, cider set upon the center altar.
And the invites read: "Life is never enough, but it's all you get."
"So join us on this shortest day; bring a gift for someone."
And one by one we all arrive.
We watch the sunset,
Shaking hands and hugging.
Our silvered gifts lay unopened far into the night,
Catching the crisp December Moon.

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