Friday, 20 December 2013

On Christmas Day

He entered the wide-open doors,
open as the arms of God, or
the Mother Superior.

The spires were obnoxious
as the ribbed horns of Satan,
taller than mountains of Gold.

In his rags, he entered this temple,
hungry for a meal, asking
for some small sparing charity,

but those inside turned a blind eye,
the filth and squalor of poverty
something putrid - alien - to them,

as they went about their silent squirming
before God: their, 'I beseech thine grace
and forgiveness; O, Lord! I am couched in sin.'

This man could have been anyone
on Christmas Day: the son of God -
not just some soul to be saved.


The babe was born on Christmas Day,
loosed through the doors of
the Heavenly Mother, only

this mother was nineteen and homeless:
Latino, black, white, Chinese - who cares?
All her life she's been climbing stairs.

She hid her swollen stomach well
beneath loose-fitting clothes, the folks
at the soup kitchen had given double helpings.

And now, in the Shelter, in her very own room,
on a bed that is not hers, in the candle-split
gloom, the wonder of God begins to stir

and from somewhere deep inside of her,
her baby decides it's time to join
this world so ruled by crown and coin;

and this baby could be anyone
on Christmas Day: the son of God,
his blue eyes marbled like the Milky Way.


I am walking now down some wide street
and on both sides tramp myriad feet:
so many faces under the sun,

colours and voices all merge into one.
Before me a young man who sells his body
for money, whose name was once David

but now is Honey. And a man in a turban
passes me by: some Muslim man with
a tear in his eye. And down the street

is a man filled with hate, because that's all
that ever filled his plate. And driving by,
a man with no hope, who counts the days

in yards of rope. And above me in
some tenement room, a young woman
putting on the night's perfume.

But they are all the Children of God.
I am no different: we are all one. And so
I sleep on the streets; I am born every day,
Only to remind you you're holy: light the way.

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