Unwinding the Old Year
by Christine Swanberg

If each ornament is a memory,
mixed blessings hanging from your tree,
handle them gently, wrapping them
in soft tissue rolled into the box
you will place in a dark basement corner.

In a dark basement corner of your mind
you can box the harder memories
for another year. They are safe
and so are you this day of new beginnings.
Another year has lent its logs to the fire.

Another year has lent its time to you.
So unwind the little lights and lay them
down like large nests, fallow for the winter.
Uncoil the snares and scars the year has wrought.
Conjure all the good from the year's cornucopia.

From last year's cornucopia, conjure the good.
Rewind the victories, the delicate surprises,
those things you did not expect but received
among the hard-earned bricks and mortar.
Remember what will buoy you this new year.

This new year, remember what buoys you
through the tumult and chaos that surrounds us.
Remember kindness, that uncle who loved you best.
Recall the ruby amidst the costume jewelry.
Wear it like a talisman through the shining new year.

(Puddin’head Press, Chicago).

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