" Silent Night, Holy Night."

For many
this is a time of festivity,
of good tidings,
gifts,
food and family...
While the words,
" merry" and " happy"
float in the air
like shimmering snowflakes.
And from inside churches-
( snug and warm)
comes singing;
the familiar " Silent Night, Holy Night"
and the comforting refrain:
" Sleep in Heavenly Peace..."
Yes, for the fortunate
there is reason
for " tis" the Season..."
But, for millions
silence and peace
come only through death-
whether
in war
or from famine
and for these, there shine
no ornaments
of silver and gold
just shivers
of sickness,
hunger,
cold...
And even here,
in this desert
of scorching summers
winter comes hard-
without firewood
or electricity
some flee to the city
to relatives and friends
and wait till winter
ends...
Though not all
can go away
so for those who stay-
we make do...
December is tough
charity blankets
don't do enough
to keep out
the cold.
So the old,
the frail,
may freeze
like my neighbor
did
last February...
And news reports
show
what many well know-
that suicides and depression
are on the increase-
still,
midst coughing
there's singing:
" Sleep in Heavenly Peace."

This poem is about: 
My community

Comments

Annette M Velasquez

Winter 2011 on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, in a "colonia" - shantytown.

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