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The Christmas Ritual

by Jasmyne Marahuyo of Homebush, NSW

We bought the star from

the same store every family goes to.

The star with its withered limbs,

was almost dying. We took it home,

slipped off the packaging that read:

 

Real Authentic Stars, mined straight from the sky!

 

We put on the instructional video,

at 13, it was time I learnt to make the

ornamental tree topper.

I hollowed it out, scraped its

night-bleeding insides with a butter knife.

We had the special disposal bags marked:

Biohazard.

It was only an extra dollar fifty.

 

“It was already emaciated,

starved of joy, so there’s no need to worry.

You haven’t done a bad thing,” the video said.

 

Copying the instructor, I blew open the husk,

huffed in my carbon dioxide,

set it in resin and coated it in glitter.

 

It will shimmer and shine silver for us

at the end of the year.

“You gave it new life.”

 

And what of the glitter that falls down the drain?

My family and I sang in tune with the screen,

 

“The fish will thank us for the sparkle in their scales!”

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