—Her fish scales, her chains, the woman’s headless                                  
wings and blown

tunic of Parian marble. —The wet-see-thru
camisole. By sea she’s

arrived, lighting on the ship’s prow. One leg
thrust forward, the draped sails

of robes. (Somewhere near, between defeat and prayer, a drive-by
shooting. —The candy thrown around the body, the ambulance. They stole

the dead girl’s dog, while far away outside Jakarta
in sweatshops some work for 20 cents an hour, and there’s

one with his mouth taped shut in sunlight.) From a sanctuary
she was unearthed and taken to the Louvre

where on the grand Daru staircase she stands, stolen, moving           
in several directions at once.

Copyright © 2022 by Mark Irwin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see            i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look           the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold.
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on December 25, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.