They are waiting: in alleys, in gutters, on sidewalks. They are stripped of baubles, of their ropes of stars, of their silver splendor. All gaiety is left behind; the elegant magic of the 12 day holiday has been dispersed, like lingering schoolchildren. Perhaps their forest color and fragrance lingers in the deserted living rooms; but for now, they wait.
Nothing lies ahead for them but landfills, wood chippers, mulches and composts: the humiliation of decay. Faded symbols of winter’s highlights, weeping a lamentation of needles, they create an abashed and patient woodland.
But at night, the moon, reclining as softly as an empress on her wine-colored throne, will take pity on the groves mourning beneath her. Extending her white arms, she gathers the light of the constellations, of the planets that spin about her, of the stars that dazzle from her wrists and forehead – and sends it to the lonely trees.
And suddenly wizened branches glow with the tinsel of a finished holiday, with the icicles of a distant hinterland. They live once again, basking in the radiance of a goddess’ compassion. Like a smile that is tremulous with a memory that is about to be forgotten, the light is a delicate reminder, the granting of a final wish, before all nostalgia is spent.