Who is it that we’re looking for, when we sing
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed …
Who is that baby we think is coming
To sleep so soundly, so content in his poverty and
Who are we thinking of, in all those refrains of
Noel and Angels We Have Heard on High?
Who is that child who so unobtrusively slips into the night
So as not to disrupt our ugly sweater party, or Black Friday, or the
The Empire that greets migrant children with
A parade of guns and a cloud of tear gas?
The march of Herod’s troops as they chase the unwelcome
Off into the night, singing Joy to the World and What Child is
What child is this, indeed, who comes to find sanctuary
In a kingdom that fills its Decembers with
Parades and presents, and elves on shelves leaving
Treats and mischief, because it is all so damn
We make it magical. It’s all about the children,
Cast in the glow of our candles, held high as we sing
Silent Night, and shed a tear at the beauty of it all, this night so
This O-so-Holy-night, this Midnight Clear
This Little Town of Bethlehem—strikes a dissonant tone
In a land that idolizes childhood but brutalizes children.
To sing of angel choirs, as we chase children back into the punishing
Who is it that we think we’re waiting for?
Some white baby in a Gap sweater.
A child who will lay his head in a Pottery Barn-perfect nursery.
A holy family straight from a Hallmark card. Noel, Noel,
To sing of gentle Mary, pure and lowly.
Pure as the driven snow; so holy, holy, holy.
And to rip babies from their mother’s arms
As they flee the terror of Caesar,
We are waiting for someone to save us from
These winter frozen hearts, and these wretched
Border walls making prisoners of us all. This
Unresolved chord hangs over us, a light in outer
O come, o come, Emmanuel. Fight your way
Through our rubber bullets, our poisoned air.
Let your stinging eyes and gasping breath and bruised,
Beaten body bring something that might save us from
O come, O come, Emmanuel. We’ll sing it again
Deserving or not. We lift this clanging carol into
The toxic night sky, not knowing who we sing to
Or wait for or seek. O come, Emmanuel. God with