On the Corner

By Robert Docter –

For RUBY, who wrote so many better Christmas poems

Once upon a time …

In a town of days gone by,

The darkness came and pushed the sun

Across the evening sky.

It pushed and pushed

Then swallowed it whole

With a great big gulp

It fell down a hole.

Suddenly, so suddenly

Easy streets turned hard,

And graceful limbs on gentle trees

Now stretched and clawed

To guard their boulevard.

Fear leapt from out the darkness

And crept with great alarm

As shadows seemed to promise

Intention to do harm.

Doors were locked and curtains drawn

As citizens withdrew

From neighborhood and lawn

And from each other, too

The darkness brought distrust to all;

Suspicion raised its head,

And each began to shrink so small

They lost themselves instead.

As each to self withdrew to cope

Alone, removed, outside, apart

From life’s essential sense of hope

Thin, lonely fingers gripped each heart.

The fear, distrust and loneliness

Brought expectations in the night

That danger lurked in cold dark dress

To wound and tear and slash and blight.

Then came a man from Bethlehem,

An aura ’round his mane,

His head as with a diadem

Of light from one small flame.

He paused and reached his lighted wand

To every lamp upon the street,

And as he did, each flickered on

And darkness fled with its deceit.

Then warmth and friends and peace returned

To everyone in this small town

As light again now filled their world

and love and hope and joy redound.

Such a tiny flame to start

This opportunity for each unfurled

To leave the darkness of their heart

And spread this light throughout the world.

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