Winter solstice

Sometimes the old myth is right,
the light has gone out of the world,
you can see plainly in your heart
and its hungry darkness, the aimless grief,
a heavy echo of something missing, or someone,
not lighting, like a mood or a utility,
but a source, life itself, and its warmth.
Something like the friendship of the earth.
Not exactly breath, but essential.
Emperors are lost. Roads vanish.

You need to plead. Someone needs to fetch it.
Someone needs to assail the fearful thief
who has stolen the light and hidden it,
buried it in the darkest place where no one
can go, no one can find it, no one can return.
Someone innocent and honest, brave enough
to be true and risk everything to set off
with nothing but a fish hook and a loaf of bread
to find the light for us who hunger for it,
and for the trees who wait in silence.

On the longest night when even the angels
can stand it no longer, God sends a child,
tender and willing, (and a mother who offers him
to this dark world), a child with nothing but love
saying, “I will go into your darkest places for you
and there, there, I will draw out the light.”
The harsh wind clamping down,
the threat already issued, soldiers on the move,
the child comes into the night, facing the darkness.
His mother sings, and he begins his journey,
and already he has a bit of light in his hands,
and already the night begins to turn
and the stars dance and the angels sing
and your heart begins to rise
like the long-lost morning sun.

For my friends in the Southern Latitudes,
thank you for holding the light for us.
Your turn will come.

   —December 21, 2018

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