Born on Christmas Day

December 1, 2016 - 12:00am -- Living City

Born on Christmas Day

What was most humiliating for your mother:
To wrap in swaddling clothes her newborn in a manger,
Animals’ breath for warmth
To see him dangle, once a man, from a cross
Omen of rejection?

A whole life is caught between two wooden planks,
Waiting to unfold.

And yet the stable homeliness must have felt cozy
Thawed by a baby’s smile,
Polished by woman’s or fairy’s beauty;
In your short body disabled by its limits
Discomfort gradually subsides:
There’s no lack of overflowing tenderness.

Uninterrupted peace must have been hovering
over that poor yet clean house at Nazareth,
Mommy always knowing how to diminish the bitterness
Of any rasping existence.

Enjoy still those deafening silences as much as you’re able now,
And those bewildering, loaded, happy-go-lucky starry nights:
In time you will discover in time, poverty of means, the same that
Taunted your father like an illogical phantom
Showing goals for you unattainable, yet easy to reach for the well-to-do.

And later, worse: the barbarity of the villain that you had helped will
Force you to wear the blasphemer’s stigma,
Marginalized and lonely right onto your grave.

The righteous and the haughty look on,
Sigh and shake their heads.

Meek man: I love you for you hurt no one;
Disarming is your law that loves even the foe.

I really love you for you didn’t shun
Neither the routine’s rules nor the world stewing in sin.

I do not know if I love you more for your stellar life
Or for your shameful death —
Authoritative scholars call it
“Redemptive” …

It’s only because of you that I won’t dodge Today
Even my warped, ghastly, hairy,
Yet wanted destiny.

— Giampiero Sciutto



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