Epiphany – partly cloudy – poem

Cherie Konyha Greene

The people who walk in darkness

are coiling up their strings

of deluxe, miniature, cool-burning


and looking for the sun

to return by Eastern Airlines

from his Florida Solstice. At four o’clock, blinds down and lamps lit, I’m folding gold foil paper,

wrapping the creche in swaddling tissues

and vacuuming up dead needles

from the tree of life. Behind the hum of Hoover I overhear my throat

still singing

Veni, veni … (as if he never had). Like most productive citizens of Bethlehem (those not watching their flocks by night), I was baking fruit and nut bread,

filing out paperwork for Caesar,

sending formal greetings to distant relations,

navigating the marketplace in search of the best

price on frankincense, when the Gloria passed through town.

Following stars is something you can do when you live in the desert.

Enfolded in Great Lakes fog, I follow

the taillights of the Ford ahead of me

until the church’s white gravel drive

creeps out the haze and climbs its hill. Inside the sanctuary are spotlights and candles,

and I am informed, and inform you,

with all due pageant, song and reverence,

that Unto Us a Child is Born. Then home for turkey a la king

and off the Field’s

to return Aunt Mary’s myrrh.

From a well-salted parking lot

in a land without sun,

outside the lower entrance of Sears and Roebuck, I lower my parka hood

and tilt my head back,

looking for a star.

COPYRIGHT 1998 The Christian Century Foundation

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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