January 2nd, the infant is packed away

On one corner counter, the year-round creche,

ceramic, where Jesus lies adored by silent figures,

December to December.


The rest of Christmas relegated to boxes,

crates, cartons, all on basement shelves,

out of our daily way.


There is no trace of tinsel, tree, ornament,

gift-box, sparkling light, angel or, even, kind Nicholas,

to draw us backward.


No hymns, oratories, carols or lessons speak of Silent Nights,

Refiner’s Fires, mangers, Bethlehem, Kings, infants or Wassail;

none assail our suddenly secular ears now.


The New Year looms as fresh as the house is clear of the old,

and we are sated with food and things and rest;

now we, oddly, must search for the infant again.


Perhaps it is not too great a hope that the child

has not been stored away too well, wrapped too tightly,

for us to know him for the next 12 months.


But then, we have always wrapped him up; swaddling clothes,

thorns, shrouds, lies, denial, hatred…storage crates.

Ever and again he emerges to seek us.


Edwin Leap 2015

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