Christmas 1990. The year I lost my mother.
I was to spend it with my Auntie
To offer respite to my grieving father
guarding against pain, unconsciously, I threw
myself into the wonder of it
hardly being able to keep still Christmas night, so
off to Midnight Mass we went
to give poor old Saint Nick a chance
It isn’t so much the church ceremony I remember
(though its scent of incense lingers)
it was stopping
by the wayside Nativity:
spellbound by those luminescent figures
the glow on the face on that Holiest of Mothers
lit by electric light
but still somehow
like a ruby held up to the sunrise. Is it still a stone,
or a world
made of redness?
Written for dVerse poetics: Stepping off the Sidewalk. Laura is hosting and has given us inspiration from the mystic poets. The prompt is this:
‘let your imagination become a springboard to the mystical/sacred‘
We have been given a choice of 8 fragments from the mystic poets to include within our own poem. I used the following lines as the conclusion to my poem:
‘Like a ruby held up to the sunrise. Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness?’ (Rumi)
This poem was inspired by the outdoor nativity scene outside St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Cockermouth, England, c.1990, which looked something like this:
Though it may look somewhat tacky by modern standards, to my child’s eyes it was a thing of wonder. Small wonder that I was drawn to the Holy Mother so soon after having lost my own.
By a strange coincidence, St Joseph’s Church is on the same street as the birthplace of Wordsworth, with whose poetry Laura introduces tonight’s prompt.