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Christmas party at the South Danbury Church

 December twenty-first
we gather at the white Church festooned 
red and green, the tree flashing 
green-red lights beside the altar.
After the children of Sunday School recite Scripture, sing songs, and scrape out solos, they retire to dress for the finale, to perform the pageant again: Mary and Joseph kneeling cradleside, Three Kings, shepherds and shepherdesses.
Their garments are bathrobes with mothholes, cut down from the Church's ancestors.
Standing short and long, they stare in all directions for mothers, sisters and brothers, giggling and waving in recognition, and at the South Danbury Church, a moment before Santa arrives with her ho-hos and bags of popcorn, in the half-dark of whole silence, God enters the world as a newborn again.

by Donald Hall
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