The first of two poems I’ll include today is supposed to look like a Christmas tree. It has nine lines with each line having more syllables than the last. In the second poem, I talk about how the creation of the first poem triggered a memory of a school Christmas craft project that didn’t turn out quite right. Both poems are from my new book, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
On A Summer Evening
Crickets chirp their
I lie awake, listen
to the night outside the panes.
I finally close my eyes and drift,
lulled by the crickets’ songs, the breezes.
I Admire My Handiwork
The poem contains nine lines,
each with one more syllable than the last.
It looks like a Christmas tree.
I’m transported back to my fifth grade classroom
in a school for children with visual impairments.
I’m pasting pop bottle tops to a piece of red felt
in nine rows, each containing more lids than the last.
But the rows are jagged.
“It’s supposed to look like a Christmas tree,” says Mrs. Jones.
“Don’t you know what a Christmas tree looks like?”
Almost fifty years later,
I stare in amazement at my computer screen
where I’ve managed to form a perfect Christmas tree out of words.
What do you remember about having a Christmas tree in your home? Did Dad go out in the forest to find just the right tree, or did you all pile into the family station wagon and drive to a nearby lot? Did you use homemade or store-bought decorations? Did your tree have a star or angel on top? Who was given the honor of putting that star or angel on top of the tree? Please e-mail me or share your memories below.
Here’s a Christmas medley to get you thinking about that memorable Christmas tree. This link will be available for at least a couple of days.
Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver