The Christmas Tree

Four-foot pine perches
on my end table
past its appointed season
needles green as ever,
as plastic as merriment
coerced by Hallmark puppies
hanging around wearing Santa hats
and riding candy canes,
polar bears wrapped in red scarves
delivering mail to the North Pole,
and snowmen hugging penguins.

Color jumbles so cheery
on cold December nights
now dark, unplugged
echo mid-day twilight of January sun,
cloud-sheet thrown over lampshade
as if some misguided matchmaker
thought the world needed mood lighting
but the world isn’t on a date –
it’s barely hanging on
like the lonely stocking
strung off the table side
as empty as ever.

I’ll take it all down soon,
despite the nutcracker soldiers
guarding this monument
to Christmas past.
They strike me as French
with their pencil mustaches.
Is that even a French thing?

©2020 Kenneth W. Arthur