Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25: Christmas Night, "Miracle on 34th Street," Christmas Poem

I am at home.  My son is in bed.  I'm watching Miracle on 34th Street.  The chaos of Christmas is over.  Yes, my living room looks like a a Walmart war zone.  It's going to take a day or so to get things into some kind of order.  But I'm breathing easier.  Not stressed.

I wanted to share the Christmas poem I wrote this year.  As you may recall, I struggled quite a bit with my holiday poem over the last few weeks.  Many false starts, wrong turns, and dead ends.  However, it came together a couple days ago.  I think it's pretty darn good, but you'll have to be the judge of that.

Well, Kris Kringle is going to trial in the movie, and Saint Marty has some prayers to say.

Merry Christmas.

Truce, 1914

for everyone we love, 2014
Between “Stille Nacht” and “Adeste Fideles,”
they came together in that no man’s
place.  Climbed from the trenches,
eyed each other like distant cousins
at a family reunion.  The German boy
maybe gave the British boy fruitcake
soaked in whiskey because they both
missed their mothers.  Maybe
they showed each other snapshots.
Younger brothers.  Dead grandpas.  Pretty sisters.
They pointed at them.  Said names.
Benjamin.  Opa Franz.  Beatrice.
Candles stuttered in fir trees.
The dead littered the earth,
staring into the dark heavens,
frozen in the violent moment
of payment.  The cost of conflict.
These enemies, these brothers,
helped each other bury
their friends, prayed together.
And peace fell on them that Christmas
Eve like snow.  It was soft.
Quiet.  It felt like
a coming home, where everybody
is happy to see each other
after a long season of separation.
That is what I hold onto
one hundred years later.
That they looked into
each other’s eyes, saw
something familiar, foreign, wondrous:
hope.  Newborn.  Naked.  Fragile
as a mother’s lullaby on a winter’s night.

Merry Christmas

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