Christmas Poem 2012 by Todd Swift



The Fourth King



I could have done more, following that star;

pausing, let my eyes wander, at the oasis, though,

to other, closer flashings.  Light on the gold

around a girl’s throat.  The pomegranate’s myriad



redness, interior stars clotted into fruit;

the way that water when it rises from a well

weighs nothing in its sweet necessity.  The swell

of her breast as she breathes.  Night cold as a blade,



and all the other stars, though never as bright,

strangely alluring in their alternative light.

So, I stayed days and nights among the travellers:

some with tangled slaves; others rich in stories



alone; our opulence was limited by our place

in the desert; we would fast again before winter

had brightened off, as each chose when to leave

this slivered ideal of a paradise, no larger than



a small market in a dusty town; but flourishing

this time in green and moist insouciance, turned

against the blurring white hot outwards at our faces.

Had I known what the others found in that barn



I might not have traded places.  Their shy sunburnt

gaze fell upon a tiresome greatness demanding action;

satiated, I stayed put in some small Eden to grow old,

never wondering what the child said or did or knows.


new poem for Christmas by Todd Swift

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