Christmas

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Home is there just as I remember:

Fatly painted bulbs on a long needled pine,

hot, ripe, ready to grow.

It has never known winter.

Dad pounds pipes he cut with a hand saw

into the soil to hold up

Plywood Mary, curved and low,

Rectangular Jesus,

The cupboard of Joseph.

The camel is a cloud and Santa uses the front door.

Mom bakes Bishop’s bread

No one eats.

We listen to Christmas with Conniff and roller skate on the balcony.

Sometimes there is fire on the mountains.

 

We leave this home to grow older

but come back to live on top of a mountain

In a house called Vista Linda.

It has a pretty view.

Dad lays out a village on the buffet table,

cuts up a mirror with a knife,

to make a frozen pond.

Mom bakes Bishop’s bread that will remain uneaten.

Friends come over.

The rum is warm.

There are no ice cubes.

But we are all here.

And the sun is always coming up.

 

It seems so childish,

The way my impractical heart

pulls at me,

just wanting to go home.

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