6 December – Wreathing

Searching, stretching, snipping
the best branches and sprigs,
bravely capturing holly
despite her fierce, persistent pricks.
Twisting, turning, weaving
all the foliage into place,
working with its eccentricities
to shape something uniquely homemade.
This year I use jasmine vines
to form my basic hoop,
and I can’t quite believe
just how well they weave and loop.
Strange that I’m amazed by this,
and by using just one piece of string,
when these extraordinary climbers
are used to winding round anything.
So I realise all I’m doing now,
as I braid in variegated ivy,
is reuniting old friends
and imitating their mastery.
A little bit of gold dust
and my work is near completing,
my hands are scratched and cold,
but my heart is warmed by wreathing.