groundhog day

the tree rounded
the balcony
down two stories
hollow, stiff, and lit.
any bum could tramp
the alley,
pull it to an outlet
and plug it in.

years ago,
in a wind through
another city’s
back of the houses lanes,
I found a fir cast-off,
pulled it to the rooms I visited,
stuck it in a bucket
and decorated it
with his trinkets.
he was too alone
to make merry.
but I rather made it
for him: roasting meat,
pouring champagne,
lighting someone else’s tree.

tonight, the curb offering
was my own, just happily
decorated with delicately spun angels
and bearded men.
But whether the short of day
or long of night, alone,
it’s a hard tear down.

every year I fight this battle.
in this night, unlike last, it is the
groundhog on the drag to the dumpster
who sees his shadow, not I.
no cold bites my nose or freezes my toes.
spring must be around the corner
quick to catch me as I  nearly go over
the edge with fallen off needles.

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