‘Christ Climbed Down’ –a Christmas poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

there were no rootless Christmas trees

hung with candycanes and breakable stars

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

there were no gilded Christmas trees

and no tinsel Christmas trees

and no tinfoil Christmas trees

and no pink plastic Christmas trees

and no gold Christmas trees

and no black Christmas trees

and no powderblue Christmas trees

hung with electric candles

and encircled by tin electric trains

and clever cornball relatives

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no intrepid Bible salesmen

covered the territory

in two-tone cadillacs

and where no Sears Roebuck creches

complete with plastic babe in manger

arrived by parcel post

the babe by special delivery

and where no televised Wise Men

praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no fat handshaking stranger

in a red flannel suit

and a fake white beard

went around passing himself off

as some sort of North Pole saint

crossing the desert to Bethlehem

Pennsylvania

in a Volkswagen sled

drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer

with German names

and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts

from Saks Fifth Avenue

for everybody’s imagined Christ child

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no Bing Crosby carollers

groaned of a tight Christmas

and where no Radio City angels

iceskated wingless

thru a winter wonderland

into a jinglebell heaven

daily at 8:30

with Midnight Mass matinees

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and softly stole away into

some anonymous Mary’s womb again

where in the darkest night

of everybody’s anonymous soul

He awaits again

an unimaginable

and impossibly

Immaculate Reconception

the very craziest of

Second Comings

 

Copyright 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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