Saturday, December 24, 2005

Several Christmas surprises--first, that I now have Christmas Day off of work; also had a really good job evaluation last Tuesday. And found out yesterday that two certain housekeepers have put in their two weeks', so the Epiphany will bring a happier and less incompetent workplace.

The past few days have been surprisingly mild. Much of the snow has melted away, but Estes is stunningly decorated so you can still tell it's Christmas. Every tree downtown along Elkhorn Avenue is wrapped in white lights.

I'm lectoring at 10pm Midnight Mass this evening, my first time in maybe six or seven months, and afterwards I hope to catch Mass from St. Peter's with B16 on NBC. Tomorrow afternoon Wes and Silvia are having a few of us to their apartment for dinner (I've got the eggnog covered). So even though this is my first Christmas away from family, I will still spend it with friends.

And now I have a keener appreciation for those beautiful carols, like I'll Be Home for Christmas, that speak of time shared with family during the holiday. That nostalgia brought me to write this poem, which I performed at Open Mic Night Thursday and now share with you:

An Iowa Christmas

Hills dip and swell like choppy frozen tide
chocolate fields sugared lightly with white snow
Multicolored lights outline farmhouses
like gumdrop trim on gingerbread homes
Scattered buildings fall into rows
as county roads become streets
where garland entwines lampposts like ivy
and bare oak branches bud stringed lights
Church bells ring out at midnight
Stars flicker like vigil candles
The Child is placed in the plywood crib
and winter wind bends like a mother
to kiss His glowing cheek
Merry Christmas