A dim vestige of the holiday,
the tree stands; empty, bereft.
Only the strings of light bulbs remain,
but a tangle of darkness,
their brilliance stifled.
Just days ago the mood
was bright with promise, anticipation,
camaraderie and affection.
My children are almost grown now;
no more with innocent, upraised faces
and hopes on Christmas morning;
no longer with eyes shining with wonder
and unabashed joy.
I look at them; picture them as they were,
little boys, eager and excited,
and feel a bittersweet pang.
I find myself missing my father
as I see him reflected more and more
in the faces of my sons.
Tomorrow I will finish packing away
new memories along with the fragile
baubles of yesteryear,
and put the dried and brittle tree
out at the curb.
© Ellie Maziekien
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