Tuesday, December 21, 2004

a night not to be silent - 6

Mary Had a Little Lamb

at birth He first
smelled musty, dusty straw
mingled with manure

He heard ewes
baaa a welcome
to their humble home

His birth announcement
came to shepherds
"Go, find the lamb!"

Lying in a manger
slimy with animal saliva
they saw Him

the sacrifice Lamb
born to die

© 2004 Arlene Knickerbocker
Arlene Knickerbocker lives in Michigan and offers a full menu of writing services from her web site The Write Spot. You may have read her writing in Union Gospel Press materials, Anchor devotionals (Haven Ministries) and in the Global Prayer Digest. Her deep love for the Lord is communicated in everything she writes.

Christmas Cake

November or early December’s the time
to start on this year’s Christmas cake


Pour several cups of sweet anticipation into a large bowl
- the first snowfall when we hauled out the Christmas records
- all the dolls in the Sear’s catalogue
- paint smells from the basement

Cut in a pound of cold reality
- the year I worked nights and slept through
- the first Christmas without Daddy
- the one I broke my wrist
and cream these ingredients.

When blended and smooth stir in –
one cup at a time
the plans, ideas, long wish lists
credit cards and shopping trips
decorating, light’s a-blinking
records circling, CDs spinning
here we come a-caroling, keep on smiling

Fold in the surprises next
- a perfect tiny poinsettia for the coffee table
- a leisurely lunch on the Starlight Dinner Train
- room on a standby flight Christmas Eve

Finally toss in
- a teaspoon of worry (surely I’ve forgotten something)
- and a pinch of pride (the house glows by candlelight
while we sip our eggnog Christmas Eve)

Give it the final flourish
– signed! The last (late) card of the season
and bake in a turkey-fragrant oven

You know it’s done
when the last chocolate is eaten
all the tinsel’s vacuumed
and the house is New Year tidy once more.

(Guaranteed never to turn out the same)

© 2004 Violet Nesdoly
I wrote this poem in early December a few years ago in an attempt to deal with my annual bout of seasonal ambivalence. On trying to figure out why I was feeling negative, I realized that every Christmas is built on a foundation of all the others one has experienced. As a result, I have a tendency to prepare for the celebration with a combination of idealism, impossible expectations and fear that this year will not measure up. I think writing this poem was my way of telling myself, it’s okay. Let this Christmas unfold as it will. Each year has something unique to contribute.


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