blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
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A Steady Surprise of Stars

We took turns dragging the blade,
carried the tree inside
and screwed it into standing.
Some people like colored lights
but we don’t, he told our baby girl.
I wish I smoked so I could
stand in the yard, snow almost blue
with cold, banked around me
like forgiveness. Once I thought
fireflies when I saw our lit branches.
We look at the world once
lavender, still green grass—
in childhood. The rest is memory.
I came in and unleashed the dog
and dropped the mail. Something
happened to you out there, he said.
His skin was the light
at the center of the heat, the lights
on the tree were white bulbs
of heat, dancers and skaters spun
from boughs, silver apples, silver bells,
and at the peak five silver arms
caught light and held. Now
they’re seen.  end

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