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Poetry Pleases: Nativity

William Ruleman's luminous poem is a reminder of the enduring relevance of the Nativity.

It makes no sense! To think that we would accept
A tale two thousand and eight or so years old!
And here, two millennia later, to find we have kept
Up the myth that the night He was born on was bitter cold,
When really if truth (as I tell it now) be told,
The heat from that babe asleep in the manger there
Pierced through that icy midnight air

To meet the light from that strangely ardent star
And spark a glow worlds brighter than mundane fire.
Yet when the wise men came to that place from afar
(Despite the silent hum of a heavenly choir)
They lost their logic, mucking about in that mire,
Their king-quest ending in questions, irony:
Some tyke in a trough’s the ticket to set us free?

It smacks too much of the sorry world we know:
The grand suites full, but “reduced rates, folks, out back,”
Where the bed sheets reek, dogs bark, and train whistles blow,
Where we have to put up with an elderly smoker’s hack,
Where we’re forced to confront our own forces’ lack.
And yet such common scent and sight and sound
Restores us, once again, to sacred ground.

--William Ruleman


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