After Christmas

Two untouched bottles of cola and
the rum was barely breached and
the wrappers from the bits and pieces of
now pulled crackers and
their prizes
and paper crowns
refolded neatly - set at right angles to the books -
little pointed careful neatness in the mess.

And there was laughing.

I think I may have laughed myself.
But for all of these
and all the other sins I cannot now remember
I beg forgiveness.

The offspring of the Virgin's womb
the boy she bore to live, to love us all
and prove it by a death so brutal and inglorious
the fine exacted punishment for Love.

Last week we called it Christmas.
And I think I laughed.
I know the others did.
I know I cooked. We feasted and we even loved
the brussels sprouts.

The scattered bits and pieces and the dishes
sitting waiting to be cleared
restored to order
put away privily because I will not
make it public.
I ponder in my heart.

I think I laughed on Christmas.
I know I loved.
I wanted quiet, but the shepherds came.
Of course they did.
The whole of arching, reaching, dark and vaulted
sky was full of angels, and the startled shepherds
had to come.

I have read the story.
I know
what happens next. Here is a little space of time and
quiet so that
the baby grows until another angel brings
a message.

Gold and frankincense and myrrh and
terror as the blood of babies
drips from soldiers' swords and
Rachael weeps.

This is the One enormous Glory
as it labors and delivers.
This is the stuff of saints and angels.
The innocent and martyred babies, dying,
make their mothers

The Holy Family flies to refuge
in a place that is not home and do not know
that it will all be right
in the end
after the blood is shed and tears dried up.
They do not know.
They have not seen.
Not yet.


Anonymous said...

Don't know why, but this brings tears to my eyes.

Stephanie said...

Because it's a poem of hope in pain, I hope - because I do hope - because I know it will be all right.

Anonymous said...