We bring them out again,
these relics of a score of Advents Past,
unwind with reverent gentleness
the yellowed tissue bindings,
and remember where they hail from,
how they first became a feature of
this annual time of expectation,
conjuring again the market place in Prague,
that old cathedral shop — long gone — in Chartres,
and the frigid night the doctor came to call,
bursting through the door to bring, not pills,
thermometer or needles, but that tall, rich carved,
and triple-tiered, Christmas candle powered windmill
with its circling scenes of shepherds, angels,
journeying magi, and the starlit manger.
He never paused to tell of how its fragile flame
had lit the final Advent bedside of his wife
of thirty years and more, simply said that
our four girls might like something like this
to watch beside and wait for Christmas Eve.
All kinds of things, this time of year,
can wear the secret s heen of sacredness.
Might it be the word made flesh was born
to say precisely that?