and haven't you ever rolled around drunk

on the carpet before christmas

and seen the tree

come down over

like a mad flight of jackdaws,

dropping tinsel and bells - fat

flying up

from a frying pan? and haven't you

ever felt gifts

sticking your spine like reminders of something,

and felt the sting of laughter

at how foolish you look

being lessened by your own laughter

at the very

same thing? it's wonderful


when people

are feeling drunk

together. and wonderful,


you're a fool. and then standing up,

mopping your drink from the carpet

and brushing the bristles,

all coming together with friends to grab at the branches

and push the thing backwards

into place,

checking afterwards

that none of the paper tore open

to give hints

at anyone's gift. 

DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press, and he has a second collection forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.