Bio Note: A little something to start off the new year. May it be healthy and happy for all of you.
Deconstructing the Tree
Now it is time to take it down, pack up the ornaments for another year. Descend, folk art angel, from your perch on high, your quilted wings unfurled. Unhook the painted glass balls and striped flocked bells, put them back in their cardboard partitions—they came from my parents’ first tree, from before the last war, as now we hover on the edge of it, again. Put each bauble back in its box: a red ball for each of the children, their names printed in tarnished glitter; a cardboard wreath with my middle daughter’s school photo, minus a tooth, framed in painted macaroni. The needlepoint heart, “Friends Forever 1981, love Nicki,” who moved away; the cast-iron Labrador retriever, our one good dog; the small angel made of corn husks; the gingerbread man of punched tin; the folded paper Moravian stars; the bottle tops turned into jingle bells with poster paints, red, blue, green; the gilt star Karen, who died in a pileup on the interstate, made with David. Put them all away. Cradle the crystal icicles in their nests of tissue. Take off the walnuts, pecans, almonds I spray painted thirty years ago, the clusters of red yarrow still holding their shape. Roll up the garlands of wooden cranberries, unstring the tiny white lights, the little stars that glittered and winked. Fold up the woven tree skirt, its frieze of reindeer leaping over houses with picket fences, where everyone is happy, no one grows old, and the snow is always falling.
First published in The Same
©2022 Barbara Crooker
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