This Christmas I’ve grown tall enough
to reach the thinner, higher branches
and my mother allows me to place
the old, glass ornaments, fragile
as butterfly wings. She hands me
hand-painted orbs, crystal icicles,
and I hunt for pedestal branches
like a nest-making turtledove.
Stretching, ambitious for higher sprigs,
I fumble; glass shatters
on the wooden floor.
Laughter stops, sudden as birds
startled into flight. My mother
picks up one large shard, thumbing
its painted poinsettia. Then she sits,
coloured tree lights quivering
in the shine of her eyes.
“This one was my grandmother’s,” she says,
tonelessly. She stares at the glass a moment,
then goes to the kitchen for a broom
to sweep her sentimentality up
off the floor.
This poem was written in response to a prompt on Read Write Poem.
Check out my new Laid post, Video games: a study in gender marketing.
Photo by RLogos
This poem is fiction, but was inspired by a time when I actually did break one of my mother's heirloom ornaments. Have you ever accidentally lost or destroyed something that was irreplaceable to someone?