Christmas Decorations

The tree enthroned in the living room

winks a coded message in mini lites,

to the magi marching east to west along

the mantel toward the ceramic infant

wide awake between kneeling

mother and father, both clean and pert

despite the travel and childbirth ordeal.

But those unwise wise men are heedless;

a different light draws them to the crib.

Is it star the divine parent of this

incarnation has fixed above the babe

to reveal, like an X on a treasure map,

the very spot where he may be found?

Or is it the fire in the breasts of a trio

of fools who must be first to discover

and name the newest wonder? 

Either way, they neither slow nor turn

and by their fervor to witness, lead the

furies of the mortal king to other boys

asleep on the hay.

Donkey and cow, sheep and shepherds

peer through painted eyes at the holy child

and behind them all, in the darkest of

Christmas shadows, stand figures

of empty-armed women, with blood

of the slain on their ashen cheeks.

©Dana Hughes 12.5.20

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