Why? A Christmas Poem 2013

Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Poetry | 0 comments


The fountain stands quite frozen now

The waters of the lake are still. Pope Francis and Child

The trees that still have limbs

Are now denuded of their leaves.

And artificial lights inside

Are not quite able to inspire

Beyond an artificial joy.

Yet Christmas break has sent our students home

And lays a challenge at the door

Of freezing tissue in our hearts and minds:

Who is this God whose birth we honor

And why on earth would He or She

Decide to join in our impermanence?


But then we start to count the kindnesses

The cookies, smiles and gifts,

The invitations to our tables and our plans;


We see a smiling Pope

Whose hat was nearly knocked askew

By the lad who filled his arms,

This Pope whose words keep urging us

To love and heal and always hope.


And then—by Gosh!–we feel God here

Peeking, as we did when three or four,

Beneath the wrappings and the coverlets

To find the Gifts we now acknowledge were

Just tokens smeared with love, and so

We start to understand Emmanuel

And why.

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