Sunday, December 13, 2015 … O antiphon of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
listen to us,

because we so often pray
in our places,
because of our places
and, yes, to our places —

the home where they loved us,
or from which we fled,

the neighborhood with people
who look like us
or where it’s all changed,

the forest we hike to get away,
or the room
with the bit of forest
we string with colored lights,

the country where words
fit our tongues
and food smells like remember,
or the refugee boat on rough water.

O little town of Philip Brooks
when he still tasted
Lincoln’s funeral sermon,

little town we visit now
vote-less tortured town,
town of outsiders,
of rocks in the hand,
of checkpoint and roadblock,

and O little town of everywhere
that hopes and fears meet –

even in the times
when nothing lies still,
and all the silent stars weep,
you give us dark streets
and we wander … somehow
all the way to shining.

Traditional place of Jesus' birth

Traditional place of Jesus’ birth

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