Christmas Dust (Emilie Collyer)

Posted on December 24, 2010 by in Heightened Talk

Early memories the warm smell of

ginger and spiced biscuits baking

decorating them with slivered almonds

and sugar ball bearings

 

Christmas hymns waft

through the house at night

lounge room glows

with candle shaped lights on the tree

 

tinkling of painted glass baubles

rustling tinsel

and delicately placed showers

of silver rain

 

It is the ritual that was magic

not the gifts

their presence bringing more

of a pragmatic joy

 

When a family starts to fracture

ritual can hold it together

or make the breaking slower

shards of the past slipped under the skin pulled taut

 

so that – many years later –

wearing the body of an adult

this time of year unpicks what has been slowly healing

exposes the places under scars

 

that are still tender so now

the smell of oranges and cloves

Silent Night floating through supermarket or shopping mall

presents stacked silver and shiny under a tree

 

seem all together

heart breaking

 

it’s stupid, an overreaction

but the shell of adulthood

is fragile like those glass baubles

 

(we lost at least one a year

no matter how carefully we held them)

 

once dropped

these delicate things shatter

dissolve into dust

 

 

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