We try to drive the dark away this shining season,
string twining cords around our shrubs and trees,
doors, windows, porches too, bedeck our shadowed world
with myriad winking, blinking, points of multi-colored light.
All this to stretch the dwindling daylight out,
limit the chill domain of winter’s night.
“It makes the holidays more bright,” we tell ourselves,
forgetting that the stable cave we celebrate
was lighted by, at most, one of those tiny, clay, oil lamps;
that the clear radiance that streamed above, around,
beyond that battered-blessed manger drew from
deep within the all-surrounding dark.
Even so, one sparkling island night in Maine, I introduced
our first granddaughter, raised in illuminated New York City,
to the black-velvet-spread celestial of The Milky Way.
Her sheer astonishment made clear that we must
claim our darkness too, if we would glimpse
the glory of the elemental light.