Cherry paper catches stars
from the Christmas tree by the
scratchy wicker basket.
Pink wrapping rips fast,
except where Sellotape tugs tight,
resisting, putting up a fight.
Bedtime Barbie sleeps
through jiggling and jerking and pulling
and slippers coming loose in the box
to smack her in the face.
She needs a kiss goodnight
but goodnight is a forgotten wish,
She smells of blanketed babies.
Lace nightie tight at the neck,
skin beneath not yet wrong.
Wavy hair is brushed and plaited and patted
and persuaded by a boyfriend to be kept long.
Discard cherry paper
in tangles of sheet and pillow and ribbon.
No, save the wrapping – it’ll get used again,
for something small.
But the stars are ruined.