BRIAN THORPE (read above by Jonathan Vos Post)
The Days that Follow Mirth
Christmas trees lie discarded on parkways, tossed into dumpsters, left to moulder
on heaps of compost.
Joyful lights and gold paper stars adorned them just a few weeks ago
They glowed in a panoply of foyers, living rooms and frosted windows.
Their embracing warmth was rich and welcome promising merriment, surprise,
a bounty of gifts for expectant children, eggnog toasts to good health and fair
fortune, voices lifted in songs of harbinger angels, and
perhaps another chance at redemption.
Now, the so-called evergreens turn grey and brown in the wake of exalted days.
They rest on their sides like the casualties of some nameless battle.
Clinging wistfully to their brittle branches are strands of tenacious tinsel
set fluttering by the occasional breeze, as if in reminiscence of happier,
more hopeful hours.
Lying beside them, no less forlorn, are the remains of holiday wreaths.
While the trees held court, they held sway, greeting us cheerily from coffered doorways
as we juggled gifts with one hand and rang chiming doorbells with the other.
Now they seem funereal with drooping red bows hanging from their orbs like the frowns
of mournful faces.
In time, of course they'll be swept up to make way for spring, for
summer and the heady distractions of each.
The saddening images will be forgotten in the sun-drenched hues
of tumbling, fertile days,
and their fleeting reminders of brief mortality will vanish
along with their lessons.
Then the world will turn over, and once again, to the crackle of Yule logs,
fresh trees will stand tall and festive.
The scarlet bowed wreaths will warmly welcome new visitors bearing
The poignancies of aftermath, the long evasive hope of
salvation and the tenuous threads of faith will melt like ice in a multitude
of punch bowls and toddies.
And so it will be until the somber hand of late winter beckons.
The trees will lie naked and dry once more on a host of curbside parkways,
Desolate and speechless, deprived of eulogy, and sparsely adornedwith meager strands of tinsel .....................in the days that follow mirth.