Prairie Poetry   
  Tumbleweed Christmas

Glittering evidence still exists
In a faded, dog-eared Polaroid,
circa nineteen sixty something.
Eschewing aluminum trees and
The usual imported conifers,
We make our own Christmas tree.
Grandma assembles a team:
Mom, me, an aunt or two.
We nail a square of plywood
To a centered, cut-off broomstick.
Three carefully selected tumbleweeds
We stack snowman style
On the upright armature.
Now for the hard part, trimming.
Deft shears and exacting eyes
Transform the balls into a cone.
Then comes a mist of leftover
Pastel spray paint coating
Every innermost branch.
Decorating must include the
Thinnest store-bought tinsel,
Applied with a delicate hand.
And the ornaments, as many
As possible, even on the backside.
Being youngest and shortest,
I am recruited to reach deeply
into the lowest brambles.
Stand back, add more, cover every gap.
I complain about the prickly, scratchy
Barbs, trying to elude injury.
An aunt admonishes, with a solemn nod,
Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
I stop my smart mouth before I blurt,
But not in the manger in Bethlehem.
On second thought, when I consider
The pleasure and pain of
Homemade Christmas trees,
It’s a moot  point.

  Cass Bruton
  Copyright © 2005 Cass Bruton
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