Waiting, waiting,
I am announced by an Angel,
Yet rejected by an Innkeeper.
I am celebrated by Wise Men,
Yet I am merely an infant.
I am a fire within a belly,
A promise, a potential,
A gleaming at dawn on the darkest day.
Quickening life,
Waiting, waiting.
Open the door of your heart. I am here.

The day after Christmas

Rain falls, large balloons from grey white clouds. Crows are muttering in the tree's topmost branches. Thin curved twigs sway in the inconsistent breeze. I sense these movements, I hear these noises, as I lie, warm, in my cot.

Father snores in the soft chair, his belly heaving gently with his breathing, rising, falling. Clattering in the kitchen... doors opening and closing. Pickled onions, cinnamon and nutmeg. I'm only one day old yet already I know these aromas so well.

I see, reflected in the mantlepiece mirror, a scene. There is a wooden structure with a pitched roof and within, standing silent and still, figures. A woman in blue sits at a crib. Not a lacey warm cot like mine. This has yellow straw, how it spiked me through the swaddling clothes... to the side of the woman a man with a beard watches – ah! How he used to watch me... I remember, I remember...

Baa, baa... a lamb's bleats echo in the room. Father shuffles, the dog raises an ear. He is a sheepdog, he knows that sound and he knows his job. His nose quivers but he relaxes. No smell of sheep... perhaps just a doggy dream?

Strung across the wall are many pictures. Mammy was showing them to the shepherd last night. Messages from near and far. She had smiled as she looked at them.

The shepherd had come for christmas lunch. Mam's friend Gabriel was there as well. They were wearing party hats and making silly noises and singing songs. I waited until they were full of brussels sprouts and turkey. I called to Mammy, 'It is dark in here, I want to come out and join in the fun'. I started dancing to the music. Mammy's voice echoed into my world... 'My water's broke'...

This is the day after Christmas.  Cake sits on the table, candles lit, everybody singing familiar verses. I hear a rustle closeby.  Mammy's eyes meet mine. We remember, we remember. Mary has a boy child again.


Christmas Presence

Christmas day?

Now we could have some play.

We could shout 'Hurray',

Send a bouquet,

Send a cliché,

With no delay.

Do you like what we have to say

In this brief communique?

Reminding self for the day,

Every ass likes to hear herself bray.

Page last updated: 29th Dec 2017