Little Jesus

manger

It seems this Christmas
It has snowed in the Sahara
After 37 long years, while in Melbourne
The temperature rises to near 40.
And over in the Arctic, Santa and his little helpers
Are waiting to deliver beautifully wrapped presents
To the needy, while over in Turkey, there are queues
Of people, gathering over a truck that delivers
Blankets, refugees that have pitched
Tents in the middle of nowhere, awaiting resettlement
Or a journey to the welcoming arms of Saxons.
Over in Aleppo, bombs are blowing
In front of orphanages and little children
Are waiting near a stunted Christmas tree
For a cessation of hostilities.

And Christmas, in these vicissitudes,
Will only serve to embellish hope to the hopeless
And mirth for the unembattled
When all the homeless can do is to remember
That both Joseph and Mary were refugees
Who perhaps didn’t have a linen-coat over their
Shoulder, or a meal to pacify the stomach sounds from within,
Who journeyed far on bare soles and a donkey’s dorsal strength
Seeking a roof to rest their feet, to deliver a child.
After all, Christmas will always be
The remembrance of an elopement from danger
A man with strong wrists and a woman with resolute faith
Who made survival, a little escape,
When the love of an unborn, God’s endowment,
Stood as the pinnacle of human feat.

This day of historical significance,
A celebration of homelessness, as those orphaned by fate
Sit around a little fireplace outside,
Remembering hummus and little loaves of bread
Telling the listening children, the heroic
Tale of Joseph and Mary, how they escaped a tyrannical power
And how a little boy was born in a makeshift-manger in a barn
How he suckled the breast of Mary in the dark
And slept on a pile of straw. And as the children
Teared hearing the new-born’s story, they could only
Realize the discernable truth
– Jesus was simply one of them.

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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