Christmas Triptych

by Josh Bishop


From in the neighbor’s house, warm lamplight,
overflowing in a homey amber glow,
extends its pleasant beams into the night, 
spilling from a row of green-wreathed windows
to paint a quaint, Kinkadian sight:
The panes cast golden, scalene squares on snow
that falling all day long has gathered white
and freshly billowed on the ground below.


And all at once the midnight sky turns bright
in brilliant, sunless dawn: A hundred score
of close-come stars — no, angels! — recite
their song to shepherds in their fields: Glory
to God! Still, these simple shepherds can’t quite
grasp what all this means — no, not before
they witness Joseph lifting high the light
of the world from a bloody, straw-strewn floor.


We must’ve caught and torn a piece of night
sky when we cut our tree from Prince’s farm.
Look how the strings of incandescent lights
approximate inside our home the charm
of cloudless winter evenings, crisp and bright.
We’ve seen through leafless branches those same stars
while walking on the snowy streets in moonlight,
hand-in-mittened-hand to keep us warm.

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