What if the Little Drummer Boy grew up
to be Big Drummer Man, a butcher perhaps,
with skins aplenty to manhandle across the tops
of barrels and pots and one precious little cup
that someone drank some special wine out of,
(Jesus maybe, yes, that’s who it was),
so that all along the Via Dolorosa,
every single, sorrowful step, there rose a
tattoo (the skin kind is the second definition,
thank you very much), a pummeled out
percussion code, spelling with every beat
not “inadequacy,” but “indignation,
causing Mary to nod to the beat and from
up high the grown-up baby smiled at him?
I know the little drummer boy did his thing in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem, but hear me out–any kid who plays a drum for a baby isn’t going to just GO AWAY, especially not after mother and child both encouraged him. I figure he stuck around and made a nuisance of himself, kept in touch, essentially stalked the holy family, drumming the whole time, and I picture them feeling about him the way I feel about the song–partly charmed, partly annoyed.
Not happy yet with the title. I considered these:
OK WHAT WISE GUY PUT A CROWN OF THORNS IN THE MANGER
WE CAN’T HELP SEEING A CROWN OF THORNS IN THE MANGER
ON THE HEAD OF THE BABY IN THE MANGER LIES A CROWN OF THORNS
HEY DRUMMER BOY I CAN SEE YOUR HOUSE FROM HERE
CHRISTMAS IS SALT, EASTER IS PEPPER
“Traditionally it is bad luck to keep your Christmas Decorations up beyond Twelfth Night – the last of the 12 Days of Christmas.” Plymouth Herald
Some years I can’t wait for the tree
to come down. I want it up
the day after Thanksgiving and then
everything put away before New Year’s.
My friend Bellamy left hers up
through Valentine’s. Probably more than once.
A real tree—brown by the time
she got it out to the curb.
But this year I’ve wanted Christmas
to last a little longer, for the event
part of Advent not to be here quite yet.
I’m not sure why. I had good holidays,
a nearly perfect mix of quiet and fun.
Maybe that’s why. Of course that’s why.
I’ve brought out other candles to use
because it’s still dark so early in the day.
It’s still cold. I’m still longing
for something to happen and yet not
wanting anything to change.
Waiting for the wise gifts to come.
Just a few of the non-holiday candles I’ve dug out. On a clean stove!
(I actually also think one of the reasons I’m not ready to be done with the season is that I love, love, love Aimee Mann’s One More Drifter in the Snow. I’m not ready to stop listening to it. So I won’t.)
Gathering it up to put it away. NOTE THE HOLY BLATZ TRAY we use for the advent candles.
for Michael Higgins, my Zen Baptist Brother in Christ
Some churches hang the Christmas greens, a big deal,
But I don’t think First Baptist did. Instead,
Miss Iris’ shiny metal tree is what we had—
White, not silver, and oh! The color wheel!
Little kindergartners tripping out
In Sunday School. The tea party saucer became
The stone for Jacob’s pillow. We took turns being him,
And we saw angels climb a ladder to the clouds.
And then at the end of the season, some churches burn
The trees and garlands—the incense of which must bring
To mind the smell of other burning greens—
A safe and sanctioned mode of getting stoned.
Your message this morning recommended Marley—
A sweet gift for Advent. Grace. Mind? Altered.
From the Vermont Country Store online!