Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

The street bright with
glow after glowing
string of lights
and warm windows with
glittering trees within.

High above
almost beyond notice
the thin clouds flicker
into and out of view
against a crescent moon.

The church beckoning
away up there
past the school
and around the corner
out of the wind

as we hurry
anxious with plans
eager with hopes
and just a little later
than we wanted to be

but it feels good to hurry
pressing onward
until our path joins others' paths
and the voices ring out
and we are gathered there

in the glow of candles
and sparkling garlands
and children's eyes
and friendly faces
from last week and last year.

The harp is playing
so soft and sweet
beneath it all
that it is almost beneath notice
until you breathe it in.

And then bright horns
and carols rising
and the story
of the decree
and the journey

and the wondrous moment
in a stable
so unlike
this warm bright place
and yet so full of the same

peace and love
after pain and tears
new hope
and joy
all over again

as the bright eyes shine
in the weathered faces
and the cry of a child
is holy
and welcome.

Silent Night
a hundred voices soft -
no silence here
and yet
the stillness comes -

the hush of joy
within the heart
as candles light
from hand to hand
and voices blend:

Silent night; holy night
all is calm; all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child
holy infant so tender and mild
sleep in heavenly peace

sleep in heavenly peace
all you who leave this place
with your warm bright smiles
and your children
nodding in your arms

while I gather
musician's clutter
and snuff candles
and turn out lights
and walk alone

since the others went ahead
down the block
and around the corner
the wind at my back now
past the school

and glow after glowing
string of lights
until our own warm window
into the sheltered yard

where I pause
hand on doorknob
my gaze held for just a moment
by the golden glow
of the setting crescent moon.


Madcap said...

That's incredibly evocative.

Merry Christmas, Laura!

Jim said...

One of my most cherished experiences happened at my mother's 80th Birthday party a couple of years ago when my friend Kenny had everyone join hands that December 16th and sing Silent Night together while he led us with his fine guitar playing and beautiful voice.

An incredibly beautiful moment in time.

arcolaura said...

Merry Christmas, Mum! And thank you. It was all so fresh, it just tumbled out.

Jim - it's wonderful that one beautiful moment's memory can evoke another. Thank you.