for Tom

We went into the woods to find a Christmas tree.
Our boots crunched though the untouched snow.
We walked deep into the fragmented woods–
bare trees shriveled in the cold, but we finally found a tall cedar:
it would smell good in the house, we figured; Mama would like it.
So my brother began to chop, a small hatchet his only tool,
and he chopped until youthful arms lost their vigor.
Dragging it back to the truck proved another difficult task.

When we propped it up outside the house we realized
that when surrounded by the fragmented white,
hints of summer skew your perspective,
making you think grandeur is just something
you can cut down and place in the corner of the living room.

 

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