Christmas Program

© Neonbrand/Unsplash

Bales of real hay
clump around
the false manger.
The choir files in,
an unheavenly host,
to predestined slots
on stage.
I spot David,
my almost angelic son;
our eyes connect;
he grins.
Joseph and Mary arrive.
The mini-Madonna clutches the Babe;
his plastic head sticks out, unsupported,
and does not fall.
“Tough kid,” I think.
Pajama clad animals
mill around the manger.
My small daughter,
a miscast lamb,
flops her ears
and bleats to the music,
all mischief.
For the next twenty minutes
I strain on the edge of the pew
at words
as bath-robed wise men
and mock shepherds
march in and mumble their lines.
The third wise man sneezes,
Gabriel giggles,
and I suppress my own mirth,
I see the Christ
perceive the glory
and adore.

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