Smile, It’s Christmas

Rachel Uon

You try to remember

the way that you smiled

when twinkling lights 

hung over your eyes. But

you cannot recall

the reflection of the faces

that smiled with you

that laughed with tired mouths

that loved you

and lost you,

so you resolve to start anew.

You build your tree with

aching hands

(it’s fake, of course,

but who’s to care?)

and there are gaps 

between the branches,

spots that are plain to see.

You’ll fill them in

with the crimson ribbons

or the silver ornaments

that we both found

on the department store floor

next to the spinning display

of cardboard presents

and flickering, wired stars.

They’ll fill in the hole

that reluctance left in the

side of your head

with bows and strings

that curl at the end,

that linger on your skin,

that were breathed into existence

by the smiles you miss.

Slowly, by my promise,

everything will come together,

and you will laugh

and you will find

new faces that beam at your side.

Someone sings a carol

at the end of your street,

so you’ll shake his hand

and sing along.