2nd Day of Christmas/December 26th

A fire burns low, blue hot as shiny spandexed
riders speed past. A tin bears sufficient fuel,
warms the cold, bides time until the traffic ebbs
near the river winding through the city. Here this

tea party offers no scones or steaming earl grey.
There is no crown for the guest of honor, no guest
of honor at all. The music of the wren tucked
safely high into a corner of the bridge, an
afternoon’s diversion. As the flame dies out,

laughter barrels across an austere night with stories
wide. A bottle passes from hand to hand, sharing
the only gift to warm stiff bones and hearts isolated
in the chill. Stephen’s crown a touchstone. The wren

who nests with family dear a paragon. His martyr’s
words ring through my days, make room for
those forgotten. I pack my box this Boxing Day,
not with trinkets, but with his humanity to be
freely given away.

Author’s Note:

This second day of Christmas celebrates St. Stephen. You know the one good King Wenceslas emulated on this feast day? The twelve days of Christmas have many traditions tied to them. One is St. Stephen of the Acts of the Apostles, first martyr for the Christian church. Another tradition is Irish, the wren who fiercely builds a nest for a happy family and can even at times be heard in winter. Boxing Day is also celebrated across the world this day.

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