GriefNet Library: Poetry
STARLIGHT AND A STRANGER
by Therese Baader Gump
A stranger appeared on my street today
Dressed in green and red robes,
A holly leaf stuck in his lapel,
Tinsel billowing from his white, furry hat.
He played a tune upon his flute and
Children gathered round to sing his happy songs.
I tried to hear their words and hum along,
But only hollow sounds came from my dry and raspy throat.
I looked into the stranger's eyes and asked
From whence he came and had he a name?
He responded in a kindly way, but I cringed when
I heard him say, I'm the Joyous Holiday!"
Oh, God, I didn't recognize the twinkle that was in his eyes.
I saw no joy, felt no lightness in my old usual manner.
With a sigh, I wondered why, and I said,
I do not know you, Joyous Holiday." He didn't smile
As he replied, "I did not expect you to."
Feeling sorry that I might have offended him,
I asked, "Will you come back again?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Perhaps next time you will remember me."
As he departed down the snow-filled street,
Leaving me in the silent twilight
Of the winter evening,
I looked up.
The sky's tone was just ebbing from
Blue to deep purple, and in that consuming
Darkness, the stars began to appear --
One by one. I could see them even though they were light years away,
Pushing out through the blackness surrounding them.
At first, each one was a tiny glimmer
Then a stronger glow.
And at last, a sparkling brilliance
In their lofty setting.And somehow I knew
They were shining for me.
Reprinted from Bereavement Magazine, November / December 1991
Reprint permission granted only if ALL the following is
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Last update: 21st January 2001
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