The Second Life of Christmas Trees
by Mark Perlberg
In frozen January, my friends and I
would drag discarded Christmas trees
from the sidewalks of our shivering town
to an empty lot. One match and fire
raced down a dry sprig like a spurt of life.
A puff of wind and the pile ignited,
flamed above our heads. Silk waves.
Spice of pitch and balsam in our nostrils.
We stood in a ring around the body of the fire—
drawn close as each boy dared,
our faces stinging from the heat and cold,
lash of that wild star burst on a winter night.