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Poetry Corner: I AM NOT AN XMAS TREE

Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine,  Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc


By Julian Matthews 

I am not a Christmas tree
To be pulled out of storage once a year
Trussed up and encircled with blinking lights
Decorated with baubles, ball ornaments, cheap glitter
and plastic pinecones

But some days, I do want to be your Christmas tree
On a platform or a stage, all lit
your glowing presence
at my feet

I am not a snowman with a carrot nose
Hollows for eyes, twigs for hands
Your snowball target,
eventually melting
and forgotten

But some days I wish I could be rolled up
in your warm hands, shaped anew,
my poker smile, peeking through
your morning window, tipping
my borrowed hat, as you pass by

I am not a Santa Claus
A parent disguised as your benefactor
With a fake white beard, a pillow for a paunch
Your corner bell-clanger, your mall knee-warmer
With a dyed red suit and windup, repetitive ho ho ho

But some nights I dream of coming down your chimney
Waking you up, introducing you to Dasher & Prancer, Cupid & Comet
Rudolph and his shiny snout
I’d wink, fulfil your wish and take you on a sleigh ride,
across a twinkling night sky
And make you laugh out loud—
Genuinely, like you used to

I am not your unwrapped gift
I am not your mistletoe or the kiss under it
I am not your spiked eggnog
I am not your fruitcake
I am not your cookie
I am not your seasonal representation
of superficiality or passing fancy

I am your emptied giftbox
I am your heartache of loss and regret
I am your tired cliché of wants and needs
Your missing guest, the knock on the door
that you long for which never comes

You were my child in a manger
My living star, my wise princess,
my little drummer boy
I am still in your corner
pining for you, my hope evergreen
for your healing — for my healing
Tinsel in a teardrop
A lone light, always on for you
to find your way home

First published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, France.

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