I used to love this time of year.
It used to thrill me, fill with cheer
The moments spent on mundane chores,
Like dusting shelves or mopping floors.
I used to count the days away:
An Advent Calendar. Each day,
An opened drawer with treats inside.
My joy was pure, and none derided
It. None theorized, these days’
Anticipation scored no praise.
None spoiled the joy with cynic’s wit,
Nor threw it down, nor trampled it.
None scorned my moments spent in prayer,
In awe of all that sparkled there,
In that old church. None spurned the pew
Where I was blessed with this worldview.
But now, we’re post-apocalypse.
We drink martinis, sip our bliss
And mock the blinking lights that pander
To our God, like mere bystanders,
Unappreciative and grim,
Blaspheming the Day that mentions Him.
It’s just like any other day.
We tuck our rosaries away.
The churches starve while screens a-glow
Instruct us. All we need to know
Can be discerned, scene after scene.
Our eyes grow weary. Thoughts obscene
Invade our heads, as characters
Created solely just to spur
Our basest tendencies and fears,
Wreak murder, mayhem, madness. Tears
Run down our face. We praise the work
And call it genius: this berserk
And warped portrayal of the riven,
Splintered world that we’ve been given.
Thinking back, my greatest joy
Was while my lad was just a boy,
And while my daughter, socks knee-high
Still had a sparkle in her eye.
Can happiness be only found
When childish innocence abounds?
Is worldliness compatible
With Joy? Is Joy collateral
We pledge, at risk of losing it,
To gain perspective on what is?
For now we hear no ringing bells.
No frolickers. None deck the halls.
A generation languishes,
Depressive–and in pain, I guess.
And no one dares to just believe.
We must have proof, not be deceived.
Will no one be a willing lamb,
And trust in God to give a damn?
No. Each is smug and bumptious, too.
There are no humble ingenues
To be caught up in light and sound,
To gasp at miracles all around.
And yet, we still will decorate–
While media cross-pollinate–
And God becomes more secular,
And Money, more molecular.
We speculate: He never was.
The Now is all we need, because
We are the reason for the season.
Ancient stories bore us. Freezing
Temperatures don’t threaten us.
With heating, we’re oblivious,
So, happy ho-hum holidays
And merry-making and malaise,
And grim stock-taking, all alone,
In what was once a happy home!
I dare you steal that spark from me!
Such acts would earn you infamy.
Go, sit in your depressive Hell–
But nonetheless, I wish you well.
For I’ll be writing out my cards
And choosing trees and hanging yards
Of wreaths and lights, and wrapping gifts,
And spinning joy from all that is,
Just like a Rumpelstiltskin elf–
A creepy doll upon my shelf–
I’ll gather children to my cause–
For children do not give a toss–
And show you cynics who is boss
By spinning gold, from so much dross.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew