Friday, December 16, 2011

Candle I

What am I waiting for?
I am waiting for you to come down
On me, like the sun on Vermeer's milkmaid, (be starlight)
On me in my frumpy flannel nightgown,
Kneeling in my room tonight.

I'm home. You're home, sister. Cause a stir at the dinner table with the band
on your left hand ring finger (tease me that way; I forget what it feels like).
Take pleasure in collecting thoughts while picking meat, washing dishes. Blow out the candle. He's coming (could I light it again?), breathe in His fragrance with the flame.

Unpack and explain to yourself why you need all these things. Whisper, "what freedom in a room like Vincent's!" Bury your face in your grandmother's quilt: it's no crime, but a thing to be held lightly.
What is gifting this year? What can be made from my hands but a patchwork of half-thoughts and a quavering love, a few colors, a hint of peppermint and pine? What of the children enamored by bright plastic for a week, and a string of lights?

Sometimes I feel this life is too offal to be right. Is this bowl of red meat worth it, after sloughing so much white?
Our jolly old record plays, I look at the gleaming bulbs in the window. Something did happen here, in this world where someone was telling earthy jokes and someone holding out one more day, to see You born.

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