And is it true? Is it true? –the poet
Said, over and over, willing belief.
That God had become man, had, like us, his
Ups and downs, his good days and bad, a fierce stare,
A charming smile, some days all agape,
Some days all cloud.
Like the poet, you’d like to believe too,
That salvation isn’t just an old word
In the big dictionaries at the back
Of the library, away from blu-rays
And new cds, so far back you don’t see
Like faith was something we tried once and then,
Our receipt intact, brought it back, unused,
Untouched. Like a belief in God only
Thrives in the “people’s” republics run by
A tyrant, the water foul, your family
Rotting in jail.
You would believe the story of Luke,
The poor couple in the inn, a light sent
To save, but in our day the birth of what
Some called love and some called forgiveness, just
Means fights in the parking lot, and lineups
Right out of Lobachevsky.
Yet to complain about money’s chokehold
On Christ’s birth is to say water is wet.
Everyone agrees with you… on their way
To the store. What is the hold here, what keeps
Us writing cards and making sure the paper
Is red, and green, new and fresh?
One Christmas morning my mother-in-law
Was so excited over a nice gift
She almost fell, dizzy. Had it been up
To her, she’d have given presents all hours,
Her heaven a house where people she loves
Open things she’s wrapped and taped.
Which may solve the mystery, which may be
Clear cut glass… we put up with this nonsense
Since to give a gift you wanted to, meant to,
Not had to, is one of the few ways we
Have to see love visible, not a part
Of a heart sometimes well hid.
The fresh flowers bought the night before,
The new perfume that smells like Paris,
The new books by your favorite author,
The new sweater that will dazzle all year,
The front row tickets, all a compact,
Saying I love you, I love you.