Christmas Lament

I know Christmas has passed and a new year has dawned, but this Christmas Lament from a good friend left me speechless in wonder, grief, and hope, especially in light of all that happened in Connecticut a few weeks ago.

So here it is – a Christmas Lament.

To the baby Jesus:
You, who gave yourself in
soft flesh,
helpless and grateful
to live in that singularly
limited and tender and
fragile and
infinite prism we call
a human life,
to suffer our pains and
rejoice in our rejoicings,
to eat and drink and sleep
and grow weary,
to give of yourself freely
to the very end,
surrendering your living nerves and
brittle limbs to the caustic lash,
the breaking hammer,
the slow choke,
to finally expire
blessing your torturers
and then
to rise again,
banishing death and
offering hope -

To you, Blessed One,
I bring tribute,
my hands full of my
shattered wealth, nothing left but
tears and words and
questions my tongue can't pronounce, and
a list
of twenty-eight names,
twenty of them the bubbling,
musical names of children,
babies like yourself,
tender and soft and broken and
infinite,
leaking through my fingers
like sand, lost.

I bring you
the absence of laughter
on the playground,
and the pencil stubs
and fractured crayons
abandoned on the floor.

I bring you the
phantom hugs and
slippery kisses
missing now from the days.

I bring you the
little bodies, who touched
and tasted and
squabbled and reached and
stumbled and now
lie still.

I bring you hopes
and dreams, severed from
their timeline, tied and
floating freely like a
bouquet of bright helium balloons.

I bring you the parents,
spirits riven,
itching to peel their skin off,
to be someone else,
something else,
anything else.

I bring you the inarticulate
keening of a people
heartbroken and confused,
which cannot rise even
from the dust
so weighted is it with grief
choking on its own sorrow.
There are no words to explain this.
There is no prayer to pray.
I have nothing of value to give and so
I bring this
worthless poem
barbed with anger, mangled,
parched, unyielding and
unlovely,
whispered for all who suffer and die
and are silenced too soon.
I come, a ragged and 
impoverished mourner, and
lay these shards at your feet.
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One response to “Christmas Lament

  1. wow! so powerful, thankx for sharing buddy…

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