A SWISS VILLAGE CHRISTMAS
On a Saturday before Christmas, Kris Kringle visits our village. Tall and slender in a dark red suit, reminiscent of pictures on old European Christmas cards. He carries oranges and peppermint sticks and lumps of coal. The children wait quietly. Well mannered, there is no pushing and no whining. Their last chance to prove how good they have been.
gently falling snow—
a child whispers to Kris Kringle
and holds out his hand
Holiday decorations are few. Wreaths in shop windows or colored lights. Nothing elaborate. Snow provides the best decoration. And the moon, illuminating snow covered fields and woods.
searching the stars
in a blue-black sky
There is a midnight Mass, and the small wooden church is crowded. The responses in prayer are smooth and in unison. No laggards here. We all sing or try to. Familiar hymns in Latin or English become unfamiliar in French. I hum along.
the joy of Christmas
in a foreign tongue
Bottle Rockets, spring 2006 #14