But she looks like she just woke up from a nap,
her bright red hair all frizzy, almost electric,
and her wings are short, stubby things
that don’t look capable of flight
or whatever it is angels do with wings.
And she’s frankly a little grumpy, as you might be
if you were making surprise appearances at midnight
before mere mortals who, frankly, do not believe
that you are who you clearly are, a heavenly being
who flits around like sparkling dust motes, dealing
with the woes of world. Angeling is clearly hard work,
and if she didn’t get that nap, or had it cut short,
that might be why she also looks perplexed,
like a dog with one ear cocked, eyes half open,
as if she needs more rest, not unlike you.
And when you try to hail her, she clutches her harp
of gold and looks through you, as if you’re not there,
but you want to show her that you are not the
average clueless human, so you say, Are you
my angel? and she blinks sleepily, her little wings
bobbing like maybe they’re agreeing,
so you add, angel we have heard on high?
She blinks a bit more; you try another tack:
Do you have a message for me, hark,
the herald angel? And again, nothing, nada,
which makes you wonder if you’ve got
the right language, but what language would an
angel speak? Wouldn’t she know all of them,
heavenly being that she is? You ask, Does the world
in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angel sing?
And that unlocks a smile that becalms the world
this clear night, and her little mouth O’s into melody,
and her wings hum, peace on the earth, good will to men,
as notes alchemize into angelic light, leaving behind
something that swells inside you, glorious song,
something you later identify as pure joy.
—Jan Haag, Christmas 2018