Ode to the Christmas Tree

by Grace Curtis

Bathed in the act of forgetting
still upright light endowed
upright on crutches drinking
only what I give it giving

all that it can a few winks
now and then ball-catcher.
What other relic withstands
this kind of stand-up once

cut letting its light emanate
only for delight like a hundred
stars in the night fractured
by its own limbs? In this chaos

it is difficult to tell what’s true
what’s green what’s there
what’s to be had against
what’s to be hadn’t-hadn’t

happened hadn’t been cut hadn’t
seeded tiny sprouts-
earth’s soft down. A hundred
eyes calling out singing yes

yes. They are saying yes to me with
white eyes yes to us yes to the cat
yes to this room yes to these gifts yes
to O Holy Night holy cow hollied bough

glass birds and beaded eggs in springly nests
yes O holy tree yes.


Grace Curtis’ chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest. Grace’s work has appeared in such journals as Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, Scythe, Reprint Poetry, Phoebe Journal and others. She works part time for The Antioch Review. Her blog is