The day we dismantled our Christmas tree,

spruce needles fell in pin-sharp showers.

Our fingers hesitated to pluck discomfort

from the minefields of socks and slippers.


We could not free strings of lights

from layers of fragrant branches;

we took to breaking twigs

until the amputations became more brutal.


We wanted a quick end

to pack away our victim,

send it off for municipal composting,

bring closure to winter rituals.


The prickly remains resisted plastic.

peevishly protruded in jagged protests.

My son grabbed an unruly branch,

pushed it back into the bag.


"Ohhh!" he exclaimed regretfully.

"What's wrong?" His observation snapped me back into mothering

"This has sap in it."

"Look at it; it's running down the branch."

"And so?" My mind was blank.

"It could have become amber," he answered.


In the silence of the setting sun,

the brown ooze glistened.

We stood before it thrown

into eons of probabilities.


"But you wouldn't be here to see it,"

I offered by way of consolation.

Quietly he said, "It doesn't matter;

it's too bad anyway."

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