Mere skeleton of what might have been,
stands 'midst shadows of darkest night
afraid to remain alone afraid to be seen.
No place to go, no hope, no peace
rejected, haunted, filthy, shunned,
a pilgrim in vale of tears ... sees no release,
And pleads for death to take its toll...
death's chill to warm frostbitten limbs
and put an end to despair's control.
But what is this just down the road?
A tiny glow a beacon in the night?
Edging closer, ashamed and scared,
The reject, like cowering dog, is drawn...
knowing well what might befall whomever dared
to cast a shadow on another's merriments,
or impose contrary vision of what life
be for those less bless'd with earth's contents.
There ... A candle glows ... door's ajar.
'Cross the threshold another waits
with open arms for trav'ler from afar.
For one brief hour another cares,
forgets the stench, forgives affront
that tests tender sensibilities ... and shares.
Each looks beyond the outer core
that separates man from man
and finds more to love than to abhor.
And, what is this? Blest release.
Despite different station and belief
they discover Christmas Peace!
copyright November 1994
'Tis not the gifts we gave each year
A tree bedecked with ornaments, dear.
These are not what we'll recall
When you're away and cannot call.
Though you're not here to share the day
To visit, laugh and sing and play.
We'll feel your presence as we do
The joyous things we did with you.
We'll bake petitsa, nuts and all,
Make fudge, cookies and popcorn balls.
Clothe a pine with ornaments
Hand-made gems of wonderment.
We'll sing praise to new-born King.
And pray that peace to you He'll bring.
We'll see your face and hear your voice
Knowing that you , too -- by choice --
Will pass the day in sim'lar way
Despite the fact that you're away.