I have been negligent about posting in this blog for some time, as I have been reminded by one of my long-time supporters (thanks, Mom!), so I am posting my annual Christmas poem. Some of you may have gotten a copy from me, but here it is electronically… with a promise that I will post things more often!
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given
to us their light when the sun was gone.
—Iroquois prayer, circa 1800s
Light of the world
You’d think the earth slept in darkness until then,
that the sun lay banished just below the horizon,
stealthily traveling the circumference of the blue planet
like a great whale, never quite lifting its head
for a breath. That people shuffled instead
of picking up their feet, moved through a world
swathed in dusk and dust. Forgot “let there be light.”
Dismissed the candles that burned for eight days.
Darkness rained crow feathers across the sky.
Until she heard the news from an angel, who,
it is said, dazzled her with pyrotechnics
and beating wings. Until all her labors brought forth
the light of the world, swaddled: a love so new,
so dangerous, it could not survive. That it did,
with great tenderness, so bright and clear,
that this genius of spirit stays with us still,
has given light unto light, allowing us to vanish
into longing, like bare trees remembering leaves.