Literary Hook: ‘Unwinding the Old Year’: A poem for the New Year

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Did it seem to you that 2012 was particularly challenging? I know it was for me, and for many people I know.

Yesterday, I took down the Christmas tree. This morning, I awoke inspired to wrote a poem based on the feeling I had “unwinding” the tree.

May the new year bring you peace and joy.

Unwinding the Old Year

If each ornament is a memory,

mixed blessings handing form you tree,

handle them gently, wrapping them

in soft tissue rolled into the box

you will place in a dark basement corner.

In a dark basement corner of your mind

you can box the harder memories

for another year. They are safe

and so are you this day of new beginnings.

Another year has lent its logs to the fire.

Another year has lent its time to you.

So unwind the little lights and lay them down

like large nests, empty for the winter.

Uncoil the snares and scars the year has left behind.

Conjure all the good from the year’s cornucopia.

From last year’s cornucopia, conjure the good.

Rewind the victories, the delicate surprises,

those things you did not expect but received

among the hard-earned bricks and mortar.

Remember what will buoy through the new.

This new year, remember what buoys you

through the tumult and surrounding chaos.

Remember kindness, that uncle who loves you best.

Reveal the real ruby amidst the costume jewelry.

Wear it like a talisman through the shining new days.

Local author and poet Christine Swanberg received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.

From the Jan. 9-15, 2013, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!