Grab the nylon string in the garage.
Pull down the attic ladder and unfold
the stairs that rise above the rooms where we live.
The boxes wait to be opened again.
When we climb to find so many Christmases,
each watching their flocks, each waiting
for an angel to announce the season,
trumpets play on pandora, and each song starts
at the beginning. The season is good news,
a birth comes out of storage
where it has waited all year.
Down the squeaky steps, we lower each
box, and each box prepares the way
for the Lord. The tangled outdoor lights
with blown fuses will shine light from rooftops,
untangle our lives. The nutcracker cries out
in the wilderness. Comfort ye, comfort ye,
sings the tenor, streaming across the internet,
his voice now jumps, now flies, floors me.
Forces me to the couch to catch a pause.
My son at the table draws bells
with a short pencil, the kind with no eraser,
stolen from a church pew with no room
for error. And the streaming voice climbs
over and above the streaming piano,
over and above the rustle of pencil against paper.
My son’s soft scratches speak comfortably within
the stream until to the couch, he taps me present.
“Not now,” I say listening to speakers and recordings
and he kicks his foot against my foot. “Look, Daddy.”
But I do not want anything except this song
and now the brass streaming clear and pure,
their harmonies pouring, recorded in some church
behind the table of the Lord, and shared across
the nodes of zeroes and ones and highdef cables
and wifi home networks. “Look, Daddy, look.”
I wrote this during our second Advent Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Kerrville (our church home), but Charity Singleton and Laura Boggess inspired me to post it here as part of their Advent Community Writing Project. You can read some of the featured responses on The High Calling, or browse all of them at Wide Open Spaces.