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Christmas Letter to my Sister by Maki Kureishi Text



Each year I decorate a Christmas tree

With trinkets from Bohri Bazar, Germany, Japan.


You’ll send home more from China

And Korea to please, my daughter.


Each year I hang the glitter

Of our children up again.


Mother kept our own tree secret

Until Christmas Eve, when, doors thrown down wide,

It started us__a dour

Cypress from the garden, now enchanted

Bearing its fragile globes and stars

Like goblin fruits. I use


A less dramatic Casurina pine,

As you plant spices in Cologne, but though


Your backyard’s fertile as a flower-pot,

They’ll not grow native; yet are native


To the private landscape where we lived,

Alien and homegrown. Often

As a Christmas treat the Raja sent

His official elephant. We were shipwrecked on.


When the haunches rose like a trial wave

We learned to brace and sway. Still practiced in equipoise

I teeter safe, and brace to my uncertainties

Survive, Anglo-Indian as a dark bungalow

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