Tuesday, January 10, 2006

i wrote this on christmas, but hadn't actually remembered to post this until today.

gracefully

under the tree i saw it
just yesterday
a new red wrapped box
from a dusty corner of the past
hoping it would disappear by christmas morning

an unfortunate incident involving the dog
or someone's careless steps
a deviation caused by one too many glasses of christmas wine
or by just not looking

destruction
disappearance
anything to avoid confronting it
in front of everyone else
on christmas morning

i thought an hour too late
of spiriting it away
out from under the tree
but by then everyone was gathered around
passing everything out one by one
and there was no way to deal with it gracefully
abscond with it
before anyone knew they were there

the box was picked up
it was handed to me
i tried to lay it down gracefully
before anyone else noticed

“no, you go ahead and open yours”
“it's alright, go ahead”
“let's see what you got”

it worked a few times
and then the attention fell upon me
and that red hollied cube at my feet

i tried to pass along gracefully
and was pushed to explain anathema
not opening a present
on christmas morning

i said i wasn't comfortable doing it
and left it at that
and the room fell quiet
and they looked at me
and i had nothing to say

(exactly the same thing i have to say
to the corner of the past
from whence that box came)

they moved along
later gracefully spiriting two more unseen boxes
from the same corner
over to me
without asking questions
or for an explanation
knowing i would not talk about it

although later i was asked what i would do with them
open them
return them
i said i didn't know

and now all three boxes
are by my clothing
and my luggage
and my other christmas presents
the ones that escaped the wrapping
together in a pile

i close my eyes and sit and think
of fire lapping over it
just let it disappear and burn
the boxes char before i learn
whatever was contained inside

and sweep the ashes away
as gracefully
as i swept their awful benefactor
out of my presence

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