They’ve hauled me into the parlour,
secure in terracotta packed with soil,
to sit awhile before my ritual humiliation.
Soon I will be baubled,
showy, gaudy, tinselled –
the court jester who will keep
them smiling through their feast –
and burdened with things that dangle,
like a tart’s cheap earrings,
and those little wooden reindeer,
hand-painted, made in Korea.
But for now they seem
to contemplate my noble nakedness,
their eyes detained by something
unplumbed in their reality;
and they are silenced, for just an instant,
by a notion, perhaps, of distant green,
a timeless forest that impinges
on the periphery of their awareness,
seeing me as I would remain,
could they but permit
such an insult to their tradition.