recycling Christmas

After the holidays,
the Christmas trees of our neighborhood
are dragged down our streets, alleys and sidewalks
to the Tot Lot (the neighborhood play-ground).
The tree collection there grows in the days and weeks
after Christmas, and the kids love it.
They drag the trees around;
they play hide and seek;
they build a massive Christmas tree fort.

The trees are collected (one day they’re all just gone),
and a week or so later, a huge mound
of what you get when Christmas trees
are fed through the wood chipper is dumped in the field.
And the kids love that.
They climb up and slide down Woodchip Mountain;
they dig holes in it, toss great big handfulls of the stuff into the wind—
until the day the playground’s all roped off, the bobcats arrive,
and that mound’s all spread out
under the swings and the slides and the seesaw.

And now, to walk past the Tot Lot
in February,
is to smell Christmas!
And I love that.

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