Friday, December 23, 2011

Swagger Tree (Composite Poem)

I asked the Swagger team to send in a stanza or two about a Christmas tree memory. I sent them [little tree] by E. E. Cummings as inspiration. In return I compiled their words into a collective poem. I got back some great pieces that tell a story, like Graziella's first tree in 1949 Italy that was sent to her by her American grandmother, fully decorated with butterscotch balls.

Swagger Tree

Juniper, green
Smelling, sparkling, exciting
First tree.
Delicate boughs,
dressed up for the season.
she stares up from the bottom,
mesmerized, enchanted, intrigued.

Delicate orange curls,
a dress for the season
she twirls with delight,
a birthday wish come true.
A lifetime ago

you and I crawled underneath

your parents' tree

holding hands and looking up
at the constellations
twinkling overhead
I used to decorate a pine
With ornaments and lights.
I loved its piney needle smell
On cozy winter nights.

No artificial tree could be
As lovely to behold
Until I learned pine allergy
Was not a Christmas cold.

A tree transported,
thousands of miles traveled,
a desert oasis of lights
that made me believe.

Gnarled and grey

Dropped needles in brittle heaps
Love anyway.

Regina Gort


  1. Merry Christmas to my favorite writers!

    May you Swagger into the new year :)

  2. Oh, Gina! This is beautiful! Merry Christmas, we love you so!

  3. Thanks for wrangling this together for us Gina! I so enjoy our group projects!

  4. Wish I knew which lines were written by which poet. Hope your Christmas was wonderful, my dear friends.