Poetry

by Marshall Stringer


I Christmas You

I Christmas you, she said,
like Jesus, who Christmased us
so long ago—and does now:
For Christmas is love
I know from our nativity set
with cardboard figures:
a Mary with Jesus in her arms,
a Joseph kneeling,
a shepherd with a staff,
a sheep,
a cow,
a donkey.
In his Christmas a God became man,
that we may become gods.
I know from the tree:
soft green needles,
life-flowing sap,
bright lights flashing
messages of peace.
In his Christmas he gave us beauty.
He gave us peace.
I know from the gifts:
wrapped in gaily patterned paper
surrounded by bows,
carefully prepared to show we care.
In his Christmas he gave us gifts—
and gave us givers.
I know from the season:
when people love to show their love.
In his Christmas he gave us Christmas.
And we can Christmas him back.

The Disciple

I saw him
Walking towards me.
So this was
“Him,”
The great “Messiah”
Tall and strong.
He stood a man of beauty,
But a Savior?
There hovered ’round
His robe
People,
Of the lowest kind.
He comes nearer;
I’ll pretend not to see.
He walks with me
And stands within
The silent walls of memory
In Grandeur and
In Majesty …
Oh, had I not raised my eyes
To see Him!
The rushing sea
In all its power
Caught my being.
Face
To face,
He looked inside my soul.
My knees did tremble,
My hands shook.
His presence
Hurled me through the sky.
He smiled
And softly touched my shoulder.
His Spirit brushed my mind
And for an instant,
I saw
The Son of God
And could not walk away …

[illustration] Courtesy of Globe Photo