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Ornament


The Christmas tree comes down
but isn't dead yet, doesn't
drain the quart a day it did
the week I sawed it
from its future in the earth,
but still sips, last cells
stubborn in a local life.
Losing needles all the way,
I haul it bottom first
through the dining room,
leaving marks beside
marks I left last year
and years before,
yank yank yank it
out the kitchen door.
I don't believe in Santa
but I can't take it to the curb—
it brought us together
in honest wonder
on the couch.
To leave it upright
in a drift between
dangling suet
and the surveyed line
I tow it through
the yard by limbs
where varnished
feathers shined.


Dore Kiesselbach

Salt Pier
University of Pittsburgh Press


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