the Christmas tree
at the gates
of this remote place
where gods
are others than God
echoes
my grandmother’s
in another country
in another century

no opaline baubles
or streams of
sparkling garlands
no filigree angels
or silver star
on the top
just nuts
wrapped in foil
small apples
cotton wool snow
to hide
the scarceness of branches

and here
in this distant country
where women dress
in waves of colour
I sense her again
the warmth
of the oven fire
and the basil scent
of her gown
when she stroked
my forehead
and chanted
to free me
from the evil eye

© Aprilia Zank

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