An Advent Poem


Come in. (It’s Sorrow.) I won’t show you the way.

You’ve been by a lot lately, so many days

          the cushion where you sit is hollowing out

          with the imprint of your presence,

             an impressive crater.


I welcome you.

For you and your much-loved brother, Joy,

          my door is always open, my home your toy

     to explore, bite, throw around, love.


The alternative would be hard to bear.

If you weren’t here, your absence might be filled

           by the one I truly fear: Despair,

                    your cousin, thrice removed.

I saw Despair yesterday,

           directing traffic at the intersection,

    all smiles and hysteria, screaming “Connection,”

    peddling the modern version of snake oil.

Despair was tricked out in technology,

    all bells and whistles,

                     endlessly diverting

    and fast reproducing, like an epidemic.

She seems so titanic, she fills the skies,

    but when she turns, you realize

                     there’s nothing there.


But you, my friend, are quiet and lumbering,

    a big three-dimensional messy bear,

    and offer nothing but your companionship.

I cannot say I like it when I see you there,

    hovering on the doorstep, through the window,


But you’ve been such a constant visitor,

            these past months,

That I feel I know you, what to feed you, how to

            entertain you as a good host should,

            without pressing you to prolong your stay.

I’m never sad, Sorrow, to hear you say,

           “I’ll be on my way. I’ve others to see,”

    for I know you’ll be back, inevitably,

              you’re dependable that way.


So, let’s sit down and regard one another,

    study the lines on each other’s face.

I’m expecting another guest soon. Her name is Hope,

    and if I don’t answer her call right away,

              she'll quickly leave, a fugitive sun ray.



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