Modern Christmas 🎄

by J. S. Absher

After the rigors of a long workday, 
    I come home tired body and mind, 
Kindness and patience both gone quite astray; 
     I stop at the first channel I find

And settle into my chair, interested only 
    In soothing myself, though in the world 
Many need love that best could come from me—
     Lonely, sick, by lack of love imperiled.

A Christmas jingle and sparkling light, 
    Meant only to sell, bring to mind the manger, 
the Garden and the Cross, where He earned the right 
     To be our friend, so no one need be stranger: 

As I have loved you, share your neighbor’s grief,
    Mourn with those that mourn, and bear their burdens
Till they are lighter than the winter leaf 
    A wind picks up and flutters close to heaven. 

J. S. Absher is a poet and independent scholar. His first full-length book of poetry, Mouth Work (St. Andrews University Press) won the 2015 Lena Shull Competition of the North Carolina Poetry Society. His second full-length collection, Skating Rough Ground, is scheduled to appear next year. Chapbooks are Night Weather (Cynosura, 2010) and The Burial of Anyce Shepherd (Main Street Rag, 2006). Absher is also preparing three books focusing on North Carolina and Southern US history, two of which (Love Letters of a Mississippi Lawyer and My Own Life, or A Deserted Wife) were published this year. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife, Patti. Website: www.js-absher-poetry.com 

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