Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come


I was visited by a ghost late on Christmas Eve.
It seemed to scatter, as it moved, dismal gloom and mystery.
It wore a black garment that covered its face, its tall form and its head.
It walked in utter silence and filled my bones with solemn dread!

I was thrilled with a vague uncertain horror that its eyes were fixed on me.
“Ghost of the Future!” I said, “I fear you more than anything my eyes have ever seen!”
Still it never spoke to me; it only pointed a hand.
I moved in the direction and followed its command.

It showed me people that I’ve seen whose lives had turned for worse.
Whose fate I had the chance to change, but had chosen to traverse.
I saw them cold and hungry, without a voice to use.
I saw them lost and lonely from being perpetually refused.

I saw widows and orphans, drunkards and prostitutes, and poor and needy folk.
I felt so ill I begged the spectre no longer to provoke.
It led me to a graveyard and stood among the tombs.
It pointed to one in particular that in my shadow loomed.

I waived the fog from the grave to read who it belonged.
I read my name upon the site and swore I had been wronged.
I looked to the ghost who still not spoke yet pointed to the grave.
I cried in anguish to the wraith describing him a knave.

“Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful Death, set up your altar here.
But take me not to my lonely grave until I am revered.
Strike, Shadow, strike! And see my deeds springing from the wound.
To sow the world with immortal life within my ear is finely tuned.”

“Spirit!” I cried clutching at its robe. “I’m not the man I was!”
“Why show me this if I’m past all hope? Good Spirit, give me pause!”
The ghost’s hand began to tremble and I pleaded with it still.
“I’ll honor Christmas in my heart and keep it through the year, I will!”

I held up my hands in a final prayer to have my fate reversed.
And all at once the phantom collapsed as if it had been coerced.
It disappeared and all was bright inside my very room.
My eyes filled with tears of happiness instead of death and gloom.

I began laughing and crying in the same breath, for things were not the same.
My heart was filled with astounding joy like a lighted lantern’s flame.
My feet began dancing ‘round the room and my banner was unfurled.
I opened up my bedroom door and stepped into the world…

- by Aaron Guillermo Hale (and Charles Dickens)

1 comment:

Janette said...

To all the difference you've made in peoples' lives, and to all the difference you'll continue to make. :)

Lovely poem!