Christmas

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written December 25th, 2007

Well, Mother, if you knew that the child you
Gave birth to this fine, bright winter’s morning
Would die before his time in an unjust act
Of humiliating violence, would you still smile
At his smile, still kneel down in your heart among
These humble animals and wonder at the star
That heralded his coming? The frost,
In the wake of the sun, still glitters
In the shadows, reversing figure and ground,
Making a revolution in our perception
And in our emotional body, that says,
Like an angel, unseen, for all her splendor:
“There is no iota of experience that is not saturated
By light, all is scintilla and revelation,
All is star and signal and thanksgiving.”
How hideously that message cuts a wound.
We do not wish for angels or for glory,
Nor do we celebrate mass for these daily
Crucifixions, where the Herods, without
Reproach or constraint, continually slaughter
The innocent, their sole motive
A detestation of freshness that foments terror,
While always accusing others of terrorism.
Mother, the infant that you suckle will do
Miracles, heal the torn, elevate the despised,
Enunciate the unspeakable, cheat death.
But Herod will live on, unmolested,
The king of the old, destroying his kingdom of babies,
And you, Mother, you, even as you melt
The frost, in this moment, with your tenderness,
Will be his scepter and his sword.

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