Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

BJ Ward: Christmas Eve

In Defense of the Overly Exuberant Lawn Decorations 
around Washington, New Jersey
 
 
Along the cold streets, my townsfolk ignite
their faith. Each states that heaven’s gate’s a star 
brighter than its neighbors. I’m in a car
with a coughing carburetor. Big night 
for our Lord. I’ve been supplicated too:
my sisters, too drunk to drive, need tampons.
They laughed. They begged. Rudolphs have snout lamps on 
throughout town. My one headlight’s pointed due
mini-mart— O salvation. At my passing,
Snoopies nod and wave. I range between Grinches 
and jumbo nativity scenes, all tethered 
to the frozen ground. Red and green lights flashing
signal a nigh-holy traffic. Love is cinched 
to where we live. My sisters bleed together.
 
The store feels stocked with loneliness acquired
by fellow strangers. Amid expensive 
cards, one carps: Christ, why all the extensive,
garish displays? They clutter every yard.
Near cold cuts, the busybodies cluster
to tsk the balloonish Santas. They snipe 
the puffed, lit-up reindeer with buckshot gripes:
Disgraceful! What a plight… But their bluster
cannot arrest this night’s ancient, tender gears.
My heart’s slightly naughty. Love has made it so. 
The bare lawns, the darkness, are what’s unsightly.
Once home, I lift the tampons to cheers and beers. 
Here’s to what we inflate and wire to make glow.
Friends, the heart is gaudy. Light it up nightly.
 
 

BJ Ward's books include Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems, 1990-2013 (North Atlantic Books, 2013).

Copyright 2020 BJ Ward. First published in Referential Magazine.

Zhongshan Lighting Company reindeer

2 comments on “BJ Ward: Christmas Eve

  1. rosemaryboehm
    December 24, 2020

    Just wonderful. Still smiling. Oh yes:

    The store feels stocked with loneliness acquired
    by fellow strangers.

    Happy Christmas

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    December 24, 2020

    Love this poem. Perfect for this day

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 24, 2020 by in Poetry, Social Justice, spirituality and tagged , , .

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