This season’s festive cards
that crush and crowd the mails
bear witness to the limits,
all those insistent boundaries
that ever mark and mar our loving.
Time diminishes daily,
the distant miles remain the same.
Lives we have brushed against
and learned to care for
now seem too far removed to reach again,
remember and renew the days we shared.
But still we cherish them,
refuse, despite the years, to let them go,
and want to let them know
that within the promise of the manger child
our hope is yet alive, a hope writ large
across this flimsy, brightly colored card.
– J. Barrie Shepherd