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.