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second half

Christmas/Hanukkah 1993

Now you come to me
with a bouquet of flowers —
all the colors of the rainbow.
I suppose I can expect
eight bunches in the next eight days
during the Festival of Lights —
you’re so charitable!
They say it has pagan origins.
For millennia people have resisted
all forms of persecution.
Now the light of your countenance,
like the Buddha’s, like Christ’s.
Winter solstice,
and last week a full eclipse of the moon.
Gifts, donuts, and potato pancakes.
A giant menorah at Union Square:
how dignified, how proud.
I suggest to Dylan
that all the symbols
of all the religions of the world
should surround the square,
but he shrugs off the idea
saying it’s Christmas, Pop.
The lights of the tree
at the other end of the square
reflect in his eyes,
and his eyes light up our own.


Philip Hackett