Watching The Night

Hey everyone This poem is my west of Scotland slant on the Christmas story and is dedicated to the congregation of my local church Baillieston St Andrew’s which is known locally as the kirk on the corner. I’ve called the poem Watching The Night as it based on the part of the story which takes us through the watch night service into Christmas morning. I hope you enjoy the read.

Watching The Night

The census had to be taken
the romans insisted was
there were no toys or presents
not even Santa Claus
they had no celebrations
in that bleak mid winter time
as Mary and Joe went to Bethlehem
they were of David’s line

Mary was pregnant
the child was due
hotel rooms were booked
and vacancies few
with prices so steep
they couldn’t a get a place
as the world showed us all
its most inhuman face

Even the inns were packed to the rafters
with sounds of merriment laughter and chatter
but from every innkeeper
came the line they both feared
we’re fully booked
we’ve no room for you here

believe me this wasn’t a time of good cheer
or the season to be jolly
only the rich could afford a feast the young couple were tired of their walking
but this child of David’s line
could arrive at any minute
tired and exhausted Joe tried
one last inn
his patience was stretched to the limit

the landlord said I can’t let you in but I’ll give my stable for shelter
if you don’t mind the cattle
or resting on hay
it will keep you all warm in this weather
no hassle said Joe it’s freezing tonight
and Mary is about to give birth
so the stable was sorted a manger was laid
and the gift of a child came to earth

Yes low and behold the baby was born
who came to save humanity
from corporate greed
and from children in need
to remind us that war is insanity
that’s why on Christmas eve we come
to celebrate the birth
by watching the night
till he safely arrives
as saviour of the earth

@ Gayle Smith 2014

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