Sunday, December 19, 2004

a night not to be silent - 4

Christmas Lights

A thin denim jacket shelters shoulders
slumped against darkness
arctic air squeezes
through broken zipper
temporarily reverses the sign
"Out of Work, Please Help!"

Plaza lights cast a rosy glow
shoppers maneuver through stores
hastening their pace
changing course to avoid,
or completely ignoring
the sign that asks more
than they’re willing to give

Occasional shoppers press
warm dollar bills
into cold, weary hands

The rosy glow of plaza lights
outshines the Light of CHRISTmas
tonight.

© 2004 Frances Howell

Fran lives in Kentucky. Besides poetry, she loves writing stories. A story she recently entered in a contest in England was singled out for publication in the Lincolnshire Echo. To read more of her stories,* type 'Fran Howell' in the search line here.
(*Sorry, these stories are no longer available online.)


You Come

You did not come to be the rosy-cheeked baby
on gold-embossed Christmas cards
or the centerpiece of a Faberge creche.

You did not come to be the ornament
near the top of a Douglas fir tree
or the shining light of a storefront display.

You did not come so we could give gifts
to each other over mulled cider and bon-bons
or eat turkey with our families.

Born in the Middle East into poverty and scandal,
You were birthed by a young Jew who lay
exhausted and unsure of things to come.

There was no feast for the half-starved animals
that welcomed You into the world,
no family to gather and coo your tiny features.

You grew up to face clamorous crowds and
sinister accusations – violent opposition –
invasion of peace and privacy around every corner.

You were born in a stable amid the sweat and dirt
of a long journey to Bethlehem – no – to earth,
and thirty years later You died on a cross ...

You come to bring Hope to a ruined humanity.

© 2004 Annie Erickson

Annie lives in California. Honesty (and humor) mark her work. I couldn’t find any of her work online, which is a shame, because she’s written some pretty amazing poems. Annie, here’s to seeing you published some more!

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