is the day this year,
as it is every year in our house,
that the wise men, Mary and Joseph
and the child, the shepherdess
and the little drummer boy, march from
the mantel back into the cookie tin.
It is the day the ornaments are
stripped from the tree –
the bears, balls, bells, and birds,
the skateboarder and lacrosse player,
and all the angels in their midst,
the day the lights are unwound in a reverse
maypole dance. It’s the day that glitter sticks
to fingertips and needles fall like confetti
on the rug where for months they will be the
season’s lingering gift, along with the candle wax
splattered red on the wall and green on the tabletop.
Today is the day the wreaths and the bows,
the plastic ivy with its impossibly bright berries
and the poinsettias dropping their leaves
are packed away or tossed into the compost.
When the undoing is done, it is also the day
to note the light lingering a bit longer, to think
about miracles. The morning dawned pink
and our star, the sun, is shining. Another
year has passed, another year of heartache
and joy, and we are still here. And today,
is the day to hope we’ll be ok, and that next
year there will be another
Christine Kouwenhoven lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and three kids. She works as Communications Director at Baltimore School for the Arts, a public arts high school. Christine has an M.A. from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She shares poems and reflections regularly on her blog poempost.wordpress.com. Recently she’s had essays published by The Mid, Grown & Flown and the Baltimore Fishbowl and poems in MAW and The Poetry Box.