Poets' Corner: Rosemerry For Xmas
Google “last minute Xmas gifts” and 100s of ideas show up, among my favorites: a gift of your time, like offering to babysit for your friends’ progeny; tickets to a sporting event or concert; a charitable donation in a friend or loved one’s name; or one of many books, including books of poetry written, say, by our our favorite Wordwoman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. Her work is available locally at Between the Covers Bookstore.
Now please read on to enjoy Rosemerry’s words for this Xmas holiday. Are we the sheep wishing the star that guided the Three Wise Men to the Light in the manger had left well enough alone? Or are we the shepherd taking comfort in the fact we are not alone? In Rosemerry’s second poem, she holds up a mirror to what should be a familiar holiday scene at homes all over the world.
A Star, a Star Shining in the Night
Just because they were watching their sheep
doesn’t mean they weren’t also watching
for a miracle. Even the most practical acts
leave room for wonder. And while the ewes and lambs
bleated to each other through the darkness—
their way of checking that all is well—
perhaps some part of the shepherds
was also calling out to some great unknown,
hoping to hear a call back, some message
that they, too, were not alone. Or perhaps
they would have rather ignored the bright star,
too tired for miracles, wishing
that for once the sheep would be quiet,
wishing that darn star would just quit
its beaming, stirring everything up,
changing the familiar night.
Oh Night Divine
In the family crèche arranged on the piano each Christmas,
the clay face of the virgin mother is eternally beaming
at the miracle child in his swaddling clothes,
and the miracle child is sleeping, always peacefully sleeping,
no matter how loudly my son pretends he’s a race car, no matter
how many people are laughing in the kitchen.
And Joseph, he is looking out across the piano
as if staring through the stable, staring through centuries,
perhaps, as if he can already see the tables upended
in the temple, can already smell the sweetness
of shared loaves and the pungency of fish, can hear
Mary weeping, or is it me he hears, playing piano
and singing about the hopes and fears of all the years,
then pausing to ask my children not to argue, please,
and to use their kindest voices with each other—and they
continue to bicker. Meanwhile the shepherd and his sheep
gaze up at the crack in the wall in awe, as if there were stars there,
stars brightly shining, and yonder, breaking, a new and glorious morn.