STILL LIFTING US TO LEAN TOWARD PEACE
Enter it anywhere, this old tale so familiar:
enter where shepherds huddle around a tiny fire
to guard flocks on the echoing hills
the deep cold midnight dark of it
or where Caesar choreographs
the captive masses’ moves, or where
the couple are turned away from the sold-out inn
the impersonal imperial indifference of it
or where the shepherds search for a certain trough
of hay in a small town that might have had dozens,
this one holding a baby born in the cold
the rich earthy animal smell of it
or where the startling messengers fill the dazzled skies
the astounding earth-circling sound of it.
Enter it anywhere, this story so familiar:
where babies still hold on for their threatened lives
to the thin breasts of refugee mothers. Where
masses are still on the move from armed might;
where terror still holds people captive. Where
the poor cling to margins of civilized life
and we watch over reality shows by night.
Enter and feel midnight still pressing our world,
the fear, loneliness, hunger still aching.
But perhaps entering this tale deeply enough
we begin anew to recognize angels
(some with names like Theresa, or Nelson)
still startling us with challenging presence,
the presence of the God of love in it
still announcing joy in the darkness.
Still, courageously, singing
the enduring power of the hope of it.
Still lifting us to lean toward peace.
Copyright © 2013 by Andrew King