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Traditions 

Vanessa, my friend, has a Christmas tradition
that is just great. Every year, 
a nativity photo is staged, with her
as the Virgin Mary. Shes fifty-eight. 

This year, shes in a bubble with her mother and daughter.
Although hes a teen, her son usually plays baby Jesus. 
Last year, they held his arms and legs and laid him 
across the centre of the scene. But now, 

somehow, Vanessa will replace him, as the neonate.
Her mum will be Mary, and her daughter will immortalise
the moment. In our international family, we have yet to create
traditions. You, Japanese, bring no presents

to the tree, which stands lopsidedly
because you would not fork out for a decent Spruce
from the piney cabins near our house
with the masked attendant Elves.  

And when Im cooking the turkey that only I want to eat,
because you prefer a blander cut of meat, I listen to Angel
Olsen and her orchestra belt out: Im telling all the lies
and realise that our kitchen door creaks open, always. 

No matter how hard I try to manipulate
the golden handle. And Ive been telling you
for years now that it is not hung properly:
that whatever I do, I cant get it to sit in its ill-fitting frame.

Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Alexandra Corrin-Tachebana 
would be pleased to hear them.


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