Each Friday at Good Letters we feature a poem from the pages of Image, selected and introduced by one of our writers or readers.
Is there any place more melancholy to spend Christmas morning than a hotel room? A place designed to be no place at all? Yet it’s strangely fitting: the mystery of the Incarnation is that it’s precisely nowhere—on the margin of the world—that a God bursts in. In this poem, a narrator stands at a hotel window on Christmas morning, an figure in isolation, and wills herself to believe that “something important / began or ended precisely” in this no-place, some parking lot by some highway. And it’s her simple belief that even the empty places of the world are filled with meaning—“no doubt,” she thinks—that becomes the miracle of this scene, her belief transforming the commonplace world into one where hope rises in billows, where God arrives like a stranger in an idling car, waiting right outside.
Out the window, the parking lot
and beyond that, the highway.
No doubt something important
began or ended precisely there, or
there, in that spot where the ice-white
rental car is idling neatly, clouds [Read more...]