December 2015
On the Edge of Common Sense

A Christmas Tree

Christmas tree is one of those things
Like popcorn balls or angel wings
That children make in the snow.

Things with beauty unsurpassed
That touch our lives, but never last
More than a week or so.

It shines from every living room
Like someone in a bright costume
That’s happy to see you drop by.

And in a world that never slows down,
To see their lights all over town
Warms you up inside.

And it’s nice to get to know one well
To know each tinsel and jingle bell
That often as not don’t ring.

I can stare at the lights and never stop,
Look back at the angel on top
And imagine he can sing.

Even the scraggliest Christmas tree
Seems to have some dignity,
Guarding the gifts below.

But all the ones I’ve seen up close
Seem to be smiling and acting the host
To all who say hello.

Sometimes I think, if I were a tree,
The most that I could hope to be
Is one of those wonderful pines.

That gets to spend a week with friends
When even a grown-up kid pretends
That all the world is fine.

Baxter Black is a former large animal veterinarian who can be followed nationwide through this column, National Public Radio, public appearances, television and also through his books, cds, videos and website,