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For Christmas 2019 and 2020 (and the rest) 

Last Christmas gave us
a fright, lines of dazzling light,
searing wounds visible
from highest skies.

This Christmas, we can not light
even small flames in wreaths
on unscorched tables, before still
smouldering lives.

Last Christmas gave us
the world’s worst nightmare
shut down, too many
taken down by one small virus.

This Christmas we cannot fly
as far away or as close
as we would be, but have
learned again how love transcends.

Last Christmas gave us
first Christmas with, and the last;
first Christmas without, and
the last –

This Christmas our hearts
have healed a little, broken
more; and even grown open to new
lights that shine.

For last Christmas, past
Christmas, for this Christmas
and Christmas yet to come, for
Christmas, for Christ born again
and always, always, we say
Amen.

candles