From the book a slow and sudden God: 40 years of wonder.

the paper protected the present.
it also presented the gift
as something it wasn’t.
colors, images.
a cover, a mask.

though lovely and friendly,
the imagery lies about reality.
paper, protecting and promoting
a fictional fix,
cast in a mix
of amazement,
does its task of deception.

is it something i want,
or something i wait for?
is it someone i am,
or someone i long to become?

don’t the gifts give way on a holiday?
aren’t they torn opened to trash
the covers aside? they are
because what is inside matters.

what paper protects our presence?
why do i pretend, presenting
me as someone i’m not?

i must remove the colors, images.
i must rip my cover, my mask.

i’ll give the Worker the task of
tearing, opening, trashing
that old me away,
and convincing me this christmas:
what is inside is what matters.