On Fourth street at the dumpster bin
he quietly sorts and sifts,
wearing a coat that smells of gin
and looks for Christmas gifts.
It’s not exactly a Macys store
or even a JC Penney
but he’ll keep searching all the more
though now he can’t find any.
A broken glass, a fractured bowl,
he handles all with care.
And on a night to freeze the soul
no one sees him there.
Crinkled wrappers that smell of fish
and last week’s chicken bones,
are not the things that we would wish
for, in our holiday homes.
I wonder if they see him,
they that watch on high.
The ones who sang in Bethlehem
whose heralds filled the sky.
For we don’t see him, you or I
as we scurry to the mall.
Though we might just notice if we try,
and might just hear his call.
What was it that Jesus said,
something about goat and sheep.
It’s Matthew’s gospel, where I read
the words that haunt my sleep.
And make me think of Christmas gifts
in new and troubling ways.
For I'm yoked to the one who sorts and sifts
in these cold December days.
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