Bauble

unwrapped with reverence
released from a tissue cocoon
globes of gold, green, silver and crimson
an incongruous orange fish

shimmering paint
worn away in places
to reveal translucent glass, light as air
aged patina, witness to many a Christmas

heirloom baubles
one by one they are hung with care
suspended, fragile but commanding
memories in perpetuum

————

nestled in the ashes and charcoal
skeleton of the festive tree
metal limbs in defiance to inferno
fearsome survivor of family celebration

but the baubles are vaporised
fuel of a conflagration
perhaps their pigments invoked Christmas cheer
in the middle of the furnace

————

garish plastic orbs, in silver and purple
chosen by others
adorn a new tree in a different world
ugly reminder, a bitter season

soon they are jostled
by paper chain, patty pan bells
pie tin ornaments
glass stars sent from afar

a festive focal point
for renewed commemoration
after which the baubles are
reverently wrapped

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