May 19, 2011

Christmas Poem

I saw your post on Facebook
about needing a Christmas tree.
I wondered why none,
not one,
of those friends of yours
(those friends of mine, actually)
hadn’t offered to take you.

I thought of how your mother
had given me an Easter basket, a birthday present,
and a Thanksgiving dinner
all four of those years.

I thought of how your mother cried
when she found her daughter robotripping,
when she found her husband to be a thief,
when she found her other son to be a loser,
when she found out I’d broken up with you.

So I posted
“No problem. I’ll pick you up in an hour.”
I couldn’t just let your mom be tree-less.

I got to your house.
You were immediately ready,
as if you finally realized I’d been serious
when I said I hate waiting for you.

We got in the car.
You played Gorillaz, and Cake, and Brad Sucks,
as if you finally realized I’d been serious
when I said I don’t like that other music.

When we pulled into the driveway
of the house selling Christmas trees,
it was dark and soberly quiet and
you had string in hand all ready
to tie up that little conifer,
a ruffled toupee for my mom’s minivan;
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t had to remind you.

As we stood there
on opposite sides of the car
tossing string back and forth,
pulling it tight,
arranging the tree,
I wondered why we hadn’t worked out.

We looked around for someone to pay.
The door was locked tight;
You couldn’t even fit a twenty through the crack.

“Just come on!” I called.

You ran back to the car with
light snowdust swirling around your figure.
You said:
“I never would have guessed that you would be
ok with stealing a Christmas tree!”

Which is when I reversed,
and backed out,
and realized that that’s why I had been right
to call everything off.

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