Readings for the Day
Collect for the Day
O God, who makest us glad by the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Poem for the Fifth Day of Christmas
and what was this day like?
i have had four of them —
four of those days when you have lost count
because you can’t get one damn hour’s sleep.
your head is fuzzy and foggy and bleary and blurred,
your world constricted to an unruly sea of blankets, sheets, and pillows
with a firmament of shadowy ceiling above,
and this wall then that wall as you pace back and forth
trying to calm the wailing one.
and now his diaper needs to be changed, so let’s do that
and mom cries for no reason and because her nipples hurt
and i, dad, feel numb and helpless and almost walk out a couple of times.
friends bring a meal or two and coo over the baby
and you love them and you wish they would just go home
because this is the first time the little bugger has slept
since you can remember and oh how delightful it would be to just close your eyes…
i’ve never heard a minister preach about the fifth day of christmas.
maybe this is why.
maybe it is too human for us to bear.
like a three a.m. feeding
like “he needs changing again?”
like the smell of sleepy soft debris where
a woman groaned and pushed until she gave birth
and now two exhausted people stare at the dancing shadows
and dread the sound of the slightest squeak
coming from the crib beside them.