Advent: Waiting

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photo: “Dayton Christmas trolley bus in 1968” by David Wilson

“Advent Waiting” by Sharon Rauenzahn

what are you waiting for?

the new house (any house)
new job (any job)
for christmas
for my birthday
for him to notice me
for them to appreciate me
to grow up
for my kids to grow up

waiting to die?
waiting for life most of all
waiting for justice to fall, to keep falling
like the rain we’ve been waiting for
dry so long you forget what it tastes like
still waiting
he said he’d be here
how long has it been?
two thousand years?

i feel like it’s
just around the corner
like waiting for that bus
leaning out into the street
the smell of diesel in my mouth
that’s what hope tastes like

if it’s christmas
i can wait a little longer

December, 2016

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Advent: Starlight

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Photo by Judy Merrill-Smith via Flickr (link below)

“Starlight Advent” by Sharon Rauenzahn

Starlight, and the winter snow
All wise men and shepherds know
Fall alike on cardboard stable
All cold myth, old fable

Yet when these dark streets erupt
Still I look up, look up, look up
At that imagined infant’s cry
To see if angels might reply

December 9, 2016

Photo credit: Judy Merrill-Smith https://www.flickr.com/photos/23881436@N05/5259313533

Shopping, Christmas Eve

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“Wal-Mart at Night – Menomonee Falls, WI” by Tom Boese, Flickr

“Shopping, Christmas Eve” by Sharon Rauenzahn

Momentarily blinded by the light of the star
Shining down on me from the Walmart sign
I gather my courage, enter in
Seeking, following
Where has my heart led me, again this year?
Looking, as ever, for that one perfect gift

Will it make someone happy?
Knowing only love would lead me here
This day of all days
Searching out that long-awaited, eagerly anticipated
Representation of love

For what else is a gift, any gift
Freely (or expensively) given?
Socks, slippers, this year’s fought-over Furby
Forgotten tomorrow

Yet there is love even here, even at Walmart
One more shopping day before Christmas
I know Christ died
I know
That things are only things
Grass fading, flowers falling

But today, this day made for man
I will be battered and bumped
I will seek and not find
I will wish for something simpler
Something
A little more real

All the time picturing
Little boy Jesus
Playing with Myrrh
Wishing for a bicycle

December, 2005 (rev. 12/7/2018)

Advent: Emmanuel

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“Advent: Emmanuel” by Sharon Rauenzahn

Where do you go?
We go to school, to the office, to the job
To the busy, the hard, the responsible
Going, go, go
Out and away

But the old songwriters knew
Years and centuries ago
What we need now is to return
To return to
Come back to

Back to the beginning
Back to Bethlehem
Come, faithful and adoring, joyful in song
Come to the cradle, to the crib
The birthplace, your native land

“Come, all you who are weary”
Says our Lord

Here we arrive
Here we rest
Here we come back
To the small, central heart

Mother and child
Man and wife
God with us

Home

December, 2008