Decorating the Tree
We walked through empty city streets,
the snow tracing our footprints back
to the store where we bought
that tiny porcelain angel,
its hands clasped around its heart,
like your hand around mine.
The snow hung heavy in the air.
We were silent,
as candles flickered in
of all the homes that weren’t ours.
Wicker stars and dimming red lights
circled the branches of a Douglas fir
sitting displaced in our living room:
the one sign of life in the apartment.
The box was a fragile cardboard,
held gingerly by tape at expanding seams.
Not much of a home,
certainly not for an angel.
As the porcelain figure slid into my palm
I could see both wings had been fractured
leaving only a woman huddled over her own breast.
You only see the blemishes
after you open it up.
Holding on to the tiny figure now
I can’t help but think of that night
when we could still say we were trying.
I go to place the woman atop the tree,
but I can’t.
I can’t leave her alone like this,
Who cut off your damned wings?