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Nativity with Pound Cake

Paul Vermeersch
From:   The Fat Kid. ECW Press, 2002.


Heavy in the crèche, the child has messed himself.
Treetop, the angel stands: store-bought, plastic, and cheap-
             but a symbol of love.
There is a genuine happiness these days, watching football,
             eating chips.
Momma says to an in-law, "Well, maybe he will be
             an astronaut someday...."
with a diaper pin clenched in her teeth.

All things are possible on the quantum level; think about it.
             Great antlered beasts
might race through the stars, and maybe he will be an astronaut,
             heroic and weightless someday,
but here in the world where solids have mass and shit has stink,
             this house smells like turkey
and milk gone bad, and a cigarette hangs the air
             with garlands of smoke.

This won't be the only Christmas he shits himself-
             by this time next year,
he'll no doubt quadruple in weight and will actually play with his toys.
But he still won't remember the fight about the stuffing, the gravy,
             or whether the pie was burnt.
He's not part of it yet, he's outside it all, ignorant
             of worldly things,
             and things beyond this world.
He is wordless and dreamless in immaculate sleep
             with Santa's head nailed to the door.



Paul Vermeersch's works copyright © to the author.


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