This Christmas I’m giving you a poem. I’m a novelist and a writer of essays and humor. I know nothing of poetry. But I know about joy. And I know about pain. And I know I am not alone in this knowledge.
So, I beg your indulgence. For the rest of the year, I’ll stick to prose.
But, just this once, here’s my Christmas poem to you:
Luminous pearls knotted haphazardly along a dirty string.
The trick is to polish those wondrous orbs like prayer beads.
Cherish each joy
Enter into each precious, fleeting moment.
Ugly stones, rough and cutting rocks
These live in us forever too, of course
We press scarred fingertips against sharp edges
Probe gently along each stabbing point
And move quickly past.
The trick is to trace those shards hard enough to remind
Not so hard as to reopen old wounds.
The trick is to caress each pearl in aching memory
Until joy, not pain,
Becomes our expectation.
Merry Christmas everyone and may Jesus be born anew in your hearts each and every day of the new year.