Christmas Eve, 2013


Yes, the eve of the great day—

Celebration practiced, rehearsed over years

Will again be held in homes,

In churches, in trailers, in streets—

In streets where bearded old men will seek

To find warmth in the grilled vents

Of those who hold the power,

Electric, economic, and political.



In South Sudan refugees flee,

In Syria a bomb explodes,

In the Central African Republic

A wooded replica of a Nativity scene

Is deliberately burnt by a hooded boy.

In Bethlehem armed guards

Reload their weapons.



In a meadow in  a countryside

The sun rises to lift a light fog.

In the distance a  rooster crows, and

In a house at the end of a long drive,

A child wakes to greet the day.


--December 24, 2013