Relics by Tina Baker
Merry Christmas, a silver-tongued sentiment,
a recycled photo of a winter scene.
A flock of sheep captured tight to a low stone wall,
lichen clinging powder green,
the blizzard biting harder than the dog
at their fleece bare legs.
Snow backed, black-faced,
no pushy greedy lambs of spring
these tough as mutton types,
heads turned forty-five degrees,
haughty faces eyeing the camera.
She places the card on the mantle;
the only one received,
all others sacrificed to save the world
like Jesus on the cross.
She mourns the death of the Christmas card,
misses their company;
those which stood out from the crowd
and those that would not stand,
the cheerful and the sombre
all welcome in her home.
Twelve days after Christmas
she would re read each one,
then store them in a box;
portraits of friendships,
landscapes of memories.
The flock stare from the mantle,
Ache old, she knows life, and death,
understands that all things fade
but it seems to her,
the planet now takes more than it gives.