Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Poem For Christmas Eve

We're always supposed to read a poem or something at our December book group and I can never find anything I can read without crying -- nothing, not even the stupid stuff.  So I always end up writing something to read.  Which should help but this year's poem was unreadable in the crying department. 

I seem to only write poems at Christmas time and it takes severe chutzpah to share them because poetry is not necessarily my thing. (This is an ecumenical sentence.  I like it a lot.) But this poem is for sharing with my friends.  (And Mark Zuckerberg, of course, because he always reads my posts.  I see you, Mark. You think I don't but I do.)  It is my Christmas wish for all of us everywhere. Sometimes wishing is about the best you can do.

Merry Christmas, O Blogosphere!  May you find peace and joy.


The Christmas Door

Ah!  Here is the door to Christmas,
the Christmas we loved, the one we remember
even if it happened to someone else
in a book, a movie, or on TV.
Somebody else’s sacred dream.

But anyway.
Here we all are at the door.
All of us.

See?  It is wondrously carved and polished.
Run your fingers over the holly wreath.
Trace the leaves and berries,
the labor of years.
Touch the handle. Is it gold?
It must be.

Behind this door is the one warm and welcoming room
where all is calm and bright.
The fragrance of pine, cinnamon, and bay.
Fire on the hearth.
Carolers outside the windows.
(Mullioned windows, I’m pretty sure.)
Presents under the tree.
Of course there is snow.

The baby is in the manger.
His promise still perfect.
It’s all in there.

Every year we all stand outside this door of our own making.
All. All of us.
Trying to figure out how to get ourselves back in.

Now, here is a secret:

Every ridiculous exhortation of advertising,
every frenzied trip to the mall in the snow,
every single cookie, even if it’s from a package, icing hard as nails.
All of it.  All that we deride and regret.
All that we strive for and fall short of.
All that makes us tired and cross;
disappointed, aggravated and bereft.
All. All.  All of it.
Is outward sign of an inward truth:

We would all run ourselves ragged and spend ourselves poor
to gather ourselves and our loved ones again
inside this lighted room of our own dreaming.
To have it sing to us again.
All.  All.  All of us. Every one.

And here is the gift, the true and lasting gift, at last:
We are bound by this sacred dream to one another.
By this mutual longing for light and love
and singing in the night, we
are made one.

It binds us, lifts us, heals us.
It is our common soul, this truth in the heart.
This longing. This Christmas dream.
Whatever this is, we are all in here together.
All.  All.  All of us. 

God bless us every one.

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