There are those who bestow on excuses
the weight of moment,
the stature of circumstance,
the eminence of self-conceit,
but however they embellish them
they remain useless fripperies,
empty packages wrapped up
in a tissue of deceit.
I’ve come to the party empty handed,
not with sorry concoctions,
beribboned fictions, gilded pretexts
of time’s lack and loss,
but because everything material
looks like dross.
Knick-knacks, bibelots, trinkets, tat,
I want to do better than that.
I want to give a gift that endures,
one that’s robust, dependable,
A gift that won’t founder, breakdown,
sit uselessly on the shelf.
So I give you the brace and buttress
of arms, a shoulder’s bolster, a buffer,
when you rub against strife.
I give you myself, unwrapped,
a friend, not just for Christmas,
but guaranteed for life.
Stella’s poems are widely published both in print and online, and appear in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52, three drops, Clear Poetry, and #MeToo. Her pamphlet, After Eden, was published by 4word in May 2018. She has an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University.