Light Shines in Darkness

November 30, 2022

Everybody knows Christmas
is good for business.
To attract the tourist trade,
our town council cheerfully
promotes an annual
“Festival of Lights,”
the lurid illumination
of a normally pastoral park.

Neighborhoods take up
the gauntlet, festoon
with energy-guzzling lights.
In a bid to replace outdated
plaster of Paris crèches,
immense inflatables,
snowmen, cartoon characters,
claim center stage on lawns.

But a blurry, early morning
Advent communicant might,
on her sleepy way to Mass, see
nature-enforced genuflection
in heaps of deflated plastic around
some old concrete Holy Family:
kneeling Joseph, blue-robed Mary,
the Mystery in the manger.