Hanging Christmas Balls

at night we hang the balls


to fill in color that the gaps

need most.

and always I adorn

the tree

with ornaments just at the edge

hanging very low

and clustered much too close

come morning and I see

the tree

with all my work shifted around

and changed!

and hanging up, and in, and down


I pout in secret silence

nursing wounded child-pride

but the tree—is stunning

indignant I confront

my mom

and ask just what she means


all my careful work around.


She shows me how

The ornaments should

Hang to fill the tree.

And now I hang the balls

The way

my mother always did, and even ask,


how she would hang them best.

She smiles,

and deftly points, and hangs,

and shows me how to fill the tree.

2 thoughts on “Hanging Christmas Balls

  1. For some reason, I find myself laughing aloud at this one, particularly the lines, “with ornaments just at the edge / hanging very low / and clustered much too close.” It’s just a delightful mental image, and the wording catches the childlike vibe perfectly. I really, really love it. I might need this one framed. You should find someone who would illuminate some of your poetry and then sell prints!


    Nick Mauer

    Pastor of Outreach & Discipleship

    Calvary Baptist Church | calvarybaptistmd.org

    P: 410.635.2800

    C: 240.620.3234


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