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Christmas Gifts

Christmas Awakening

by Alan Harris

From the mantel, stockings
packed with Christmas
tinyness and sweets
dimly hang at 3 a.m.

Cold wind outside
shakes and snaps the house.
The dog is asleep on the couch.

This artificial tree, lights off, points
second-floorward with wrapped
bounty beautifully beneath it,
testimony that goods are good
and glitter is better.

The dog sighs and turns over.

From underneath,
the furnace exhales warmly
upon tree ornaments
livingly aquiver.

All else is motionless,
and less,
except for the dog
now snoring on the couch.

What if this--
right here, this instant--
is Christmas?

What if this quiet room
is flooded with the future?

What if an unseen star
is shining here,
lighting the way
to a new beginning?

What room, I wonder,
is this? Do we have here
a manger?

The dog sleeps deeply.
The room is ready.
One waits.

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