Though small and squat I bought you.
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Could not resist your slender arms
your reedy branches, a real Charlie
Brown tree, so bare and sorrowful,
as if asking, Who would want me?
I know this. And as I looked I saw
in you a bit of me; Thin and pale,
barren of decoration. You were plain,
but never the same as your cousins,
those Yorkshire lads who’d pour
pints into half-wits And toss out
Sunday slaps. We had transcended.
Let others do the taking.
You were mine. I paid ten dollars
for the honor and drove you home,
gentle in my car, we sat as twin-
front seated and quiet, we arrived.
I would brave the basement spiders,
I would climb the narrow stair
because I loved you. I emerged
cobweb draped, filthy, bearing
strings of green-light sparkle.
We’d make a star of us yet.
You sat on the table and
I moved, a dancer I placed
each thing with such reverence
one would laugh, but I didn’t.
We would have no store-bought decoration.
Instead, I sought my precious objects,
placed high on your branches:
a bracelet from Paris, a silver bird
to squeeze lemons, origami cranes
made in the year I was sure
I was dying.
I stood back, hit the socket
and you lit up, beating
lumen after lumen, green
enchanted, you became
a chatterbox tree, nestled with
a thousand iridescent starlings
who came bearing tidings
of promise and I knew that it was true.