By the crib we are gathering,
reflecting as much on the miracle of the shared endeavour
to believe in this story of light from light,
as on the nativity story itself...
some of us hanker for the remaining crumb
and linger, still for the last word of Christmas Eve conversation
before splitting like stars broken from a constellation.
Rain washed cobblestones,
half past midnight games of tag,
as evergreens strung with a million lights,
the silent stars, silver and remote as unheard bells.
Crossing the piazza,
the children wander and disperse,
Covent Garden suddenly theirs...
the performers and the crowds
as though magically vanished elsewhere,
leaving it all for us,
a shimmering fairground, finally unwrapped,
hide and seek, lights reflected like elusive
sapphires on the gleaming stone dark
ground. Eyes in the night,
the colour of Mary's dress.
Diving amongst barrows and folded stalls
vigorous as robust angels
leaping and flying out of hidden lairs.
Long Acre and
One in the morning -
gifts shorn of coverings as sheep of their wool
a flurry of paper and unfurling bow.
Long awaited births.