What if Kurzweil doesn't make it?
What if all the switches get stuck on destroy?
When the shuttle goes, we won't take it
When the final counter-measures are deployed
All we'll have is all this time

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Season's Gifts

My neighbor restrained
his inflatable fetish to half his lawn
in sympathy of my yard's nakedness
this season.
His makeshift creche,
populated by plastic Jesus plus attendants,
shines blessed light through our windows
all the night.
The three wise men positioned
on the side
like a panel of talking heads
giving running color commentary
and prognostication about what
the scene means.
No matter how hard
they argue over each other,
each morning finds
them in the same place.
A shepherd boy moderates
their quibbles and whispers
without the sense to wear
shoes in this snow.
Half the size of real people
and losing their gilt,
the hollow wise men stare down,
electric lights up their bums
giving the impression of intellect,
carrying their tribute.
Typical of talking heads
the gifts are of little use
to a family with a newborn.
Gold, frankincense and myrrh of all things.
Myrr, spice of the dead.
Gold is somewhat usable,
since the other gift they bring,
the hidden gift not shown,
is the sure knowledge of impending doom,
the wise men's stock and trade.
When the world comes crashing in
gold will help, they say.
But I can't help wondering
if the patient smile on Mary's lips
isn't her biting them instead
to keep questions internal;
if a box of diapers
was too much to ask,
or a proper blanket.


Dan Berlyoung said...

Hear, hear!

Steve Buchheit said...

Thanks, Dan. This poem started out about a completely different topic (although similar imagery). Then I got to the line about electric lights up their bums and realized that the poem was about something else entirely. It's been a while since I've written a poem like this. I'm pretty proud that I can still do it.