By Keith Patman (©1980)
Was it a cold awakening Christmas morning
In a wooden trough,
In spite of straw and swaddling clothes and angel songs?
That was not to be the last time you’d be laid upon the wood
(There were Herods, Judases from the start
Among the stars and shepherds).
And did they smile, those simple folk,
And kiss your tiny hands and weep delight?
They’d touch those hands again someday,
Believing you through cracks and scars.
Then oh! the million Christmas mornings
When you’d lie, a babe again,
Beneath a million million trees
And hear the countless tongues chanting your name.
And oh! the white snow on black shingles
Where icy crystals capture windows
And fires glow and mistletoe is wreathed and strung.
But ah . . . will they remember crimson
Dripping from the iron nails
And will they pray and will they know
A whiter white than
[from the album Centerpoint, by Jeff Johnson]