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Christmas Letter to my Sister by Maki Kureishi Text

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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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