New Necessities and Old Tradition

A month to watch a wreath decay.
Ribbons pulls friends home
to mothers, in towns away, ‘cross
hills and tracks with luggage
to escape being alone on Christmas.

Arthritic, brittle leaves dry out, and
leprous branches fall.
Crimson berries, cries of red
from cherub-cheeks stuffed
with glowing rosehips
finally lose their gloss –

before shrivelling, fading
and passing into hallmark shades of Winter grey.

Quiet, deserted houses in cities
light up again come new year,
when the ribbon unravels, new shoes
tread into cold buildings
to find unused candles, abandoned blankets
and corpses of wreaths by the bins.

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First Night Home Again (Poem)

My husband and I got back from his parent’s house yesterday afternoon, after staying there over christmas and new year. As soon as we came into the city I began feeling more relaxed and more ‘me’ again. Christmas was so lovely, with all my new family, but I found it very taxing and I didn’t feel myself much of the time. Especially because I found it hard to write, and I couldn’t paint.

Back by ourselves, I’m more at ease. But I really struggled to sleep. Here is a poem I wrote at about 3.30am:

Sleep-deep breathing in the nape of my neck.
At least one of us can rest while I battle with this solitaire.
Blue light glares silently at my face as I tap.
The apartment dimly lit
whisperlessly watching my eyes glaze,
gazing back at the screen.

As the cards fall into place,
maybe my breathing will,
and might my muscles,
and my heart too.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the routines I was cultivating at the end of last year.