John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Advent 2006: The Christians and the Pagans

The Christians and the Pagans

Amber called her uncle, said, “We’re up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay.”
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree,
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, “It’s Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style;”
She said, “Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and it’s been awhile.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able.
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, “Is it true that you’re a witch?”
His mom jumped up and said, “The pies are burning,” and she hit the kitchen.
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, “It’s true, your cousin’s not a Christian,
But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And where does magic come from, I think magic’s in the learning,
Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, “Really, no, don’t bother,”
Amber’s uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadn’t spoken in a year;
He thought he’d call him up and say, “It’s Christmas and your daughter’s here.”
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve saying,
“Can I be a Pagan?” Dad said, “We’ll discuss it when they leave.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

Dar Williams (b. 1967)

In a way, this was the very first work I selected for this year's Advent project. I first thought about doing another selection of Christmas poetry back in 2004, and while I ultimately abandoned the idea, I gave it enough thought to know that this song was going to be among the works I featured. So of course when I decided to do more poetry this year, this song was already at the top of the list. Because, let's face it, it's fabulous. I don't know why I never hear it played this time of year other than on my own CD player.

Previous Advent posts:

Tags: poet's corner
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