Twelfth Night

Far from Illyria, the Christmas tree
is stripped of its disguise. Stars and all
the golden spheres are wrapped once more
in crumpled tissue paper, laid to rest
along with memories that link them
to each year they first spun in candlelight;
they wait for December, oblivious whether
the rain it raineth every day.

Branches stand bare, casting unease
in a room flattened to everyday order,
just as the sky darkens and hurls snow,
with a magician’s flourish, spreading white
shrouds flecked with black, burying borders,
spiking a walk with doves of danger.
The day is upended in a sigh for January:
hey ho, the wind and the rain.

Camilla Lambert

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