Read a Poem
By Matt Dettmer
Christmas Eve this year my parents sent me a tree it came in a box and when I pulled it out the glitter glued to its branches fell on the floor and my couch and pieces of the branches did too like the mess made from birthing and I set it by a window overlooking Lake Erie and train tracks and I turned it on it has different settings different color lights but I went with just the plain white and left it on while I slept the next morning Christmas Day a Saturday I woke up a little early pressed play on a record that was sitting there and it just happened to be kid a the radiohead album and I got ready and needed to leave when the last song on the album started up and it was still so dark outside I sat at my desk looking out at the shades of lake lit by the echoes of the city that song starts with just some kind of organ and singing and I’m never sure all of what the words are in the chorus but it sounds like what someone might mumble to a friend at a funeral when the way you say them matters more than the words themselves and just then my friend Ted texted me a picture of his boy staring down at his phone while Ted’s looking down too so that he looked upside down while his kid was right side up and twenty years ago so much of how we became friends was talking about radiohead using words like glorious and genius and we still do that sometimes but not as often and that song goes on for a while but I left my apartment scrubs on under a thick coat and drove to the hospital leaving the Christmas tree lit and the vinyl playing and halfway to work I started crying so hard I thought about pulling over but there wasn’t enough traffic to make a difference.
Christmas 2021 by Matt Dettmer. Used by permission of the author.
About the Author
Matt Dettmer is a writer, musician, and physician currently practicing in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also a first-year creative writing student in the Northeast Ohio MFA program with a focus in poetry. His work has previously been published in The Harpy Hybrid Review, Olney, and Talk Vomit.
Write a Poem
Write a poem in which a person runs where no running is allowed. Draft it in 10 minutes.