holiday on skid row

you only knew the red nail-polish-deceit of your mother,
the chipped dreams she had re-gifted each christmas:

scrubbed of memory's cracked veneer,
then buffed and shined until they glistened tinsel-tied promises.
but such sparkles were a brief holiday from hunger,
ornamenting your austere existence for one day each year.

glittering baubles soon lay in poetic shards at the base
of your plastic evergreen, broken by her boyfriend's yuletide hangover

and the welfare man's fresh appearance at your door.