My Mother Is Kneeling

Midnight beside the Christmas tree
Slowly unplugging the last string

Of lights as I lug my way to sleep
Drugged by cocoa & marshmallows
Up since 6 o’clock papers & ice

She begins singing in German
In a voice I have never heard
“O Tannenbaum” rising to aria
In blue light & silver ornaments

That moment was the first time I died
Slowly floating outside my body
Into a thread of cool yellow light

I don’t know where heaven is
Any longer but I know it will have

The smell of blue pine & the lilt in her voice