Our noisy, family klatch huddles
in foggy shadows from yellow
porch lights. A somber pine cone
wreath hangs on a weathered door.
Over nog, mincemeat pie, nuts,
we have harangued, sneered, shouted
both about donkeys and elephants not
in the room tonight, intense beyond
scavenger hunt passion. Time comes
to venture into a cold night, proclaim
joy and peace, three kings, a little town
in Bethlehem, the virgin, a manger.
My vociferous uncle, between sniffles,
hugs me close, though ten minutes
earlier he and I stood face to face,
our political galaxies eons apart,
colliding beyond reconciliation.
Earl Wilcox is a member of two families who have been singing carols together for the past forty-five years.