I pulled the decorations from storage
because we had hung them every year
and I didn’t see why
that year should be different.
Mom started putting hooks
on ornaments when Dad went outside.
After a while, the trailer
shone with tinsel,
bulbs, and angels,
the chimneysweep, the dormouse,
the carolers, the North Star.
Dad came back
and touched his favorite ornament:
a magician with a rabbit-filled top hat.
When night shadowed
the room, I plugged in the lights.
There was no whistle
from the toy train, no glow.
Sean McQuinney is an MFA student at the University of Florida studying under Ange Mlinko, Michael Hofmann, and William Logan.