Taking Christmas down

Taking Christmas down

We put it up with no problem at all
Bright greeen spiny leaves fixed to old oak beams,
And the wreath that we gladly hung in the hall
Out of wind, out of rain that outside teems,
And warmed by the fire we had our own ball

We drank to the health of every known one -
And to peace on earth, goodwill to all men
But, oh, when the feast and drinking is done,
Now we feel the press of the world again,
This taking it down is not so much fun.

They stared: “What a beautiful tree” they said,
And we looked with pride on our tinselled tower
A star-burst of baubles and lights - overhead
A fine fairie queene dispensing her power
Soon all to be boxed, the tree dumped and dead.

What pleasure it was when each post arrived
Each envelope opened, pictures admired
Reading from whom with the card spread out wide
Then hanging our trophies, strings multi-tiered
Now they’re all in the bin, something has died.

Some echo of good from the distant past?
Some simple utopian wish we feel?
Beneath the tumultuous hard sales blast:
We hear that voice, it’s so clear and so real
And that’s why we want to make Christmas last.

Perhaps next year
We’ll just leave it here.

Bryan Islip
12th night: 1991

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