Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese


the Sixth (a Christmas poem)


Passively I accept these gloomy
days attending another closing year.
Trees, house tops, driveways and
footpaths, all gleam from a drenching 
rain that fell two days before.  It is a

time of brightly yellowed trees;
losing their glossy aging leaves
that litter boulevards pointing to 
woods and dark wind-torn fields.

No one sees me here, shuttered 
behind weeping window panes
– feeling a bit helpless – somewhat 
trapped, more a reflection of 
trampled-down weakness...

I listen for the clock in the hall, 
ticking off minutes and seconds; 
chiming with insistent invitations
–  awaiting some kind response.

But my thoughts, and there also 
my reply, lay crumpled and damp
upon the forest floor.  Muffled
beneath a timely gonging peal. 

Help me earnestly celebrate Your Birth Oh Infant King.
For you bring Light into the darkness of Earth.

Pleading the Spirit’s gift – that being gift
number Six –  to come with atomizing spray 
to permeate the hearth – quaking this
shallow bog into a bone-burning blaze.

Then just like that – for it happens at Dusk – 
dangling strings of lights set upon the eaves
decorate the rivulets coursing down my
window panes.   Their twinkling employs 
a kind of speechless, glowing praise.


Note: gift number 6 = Piety


Written by Hannah De Lisser
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