Seasonal Poem by Sean Body

NATIVITY
why is this night different from all others

as if the stillness conjures it
or some unacknowledged loss

an ancient voice deep and sonorous
somewhere between question and affirmation

why is this night

a wrong note harmony
so right it silences

rising in the bone, the hulk, the killing field
fills the night with forgiveness

why is this night different

because promises were made
and seen to be kept

the blood of the lamb barring death
from the dwellings of Jews

dressed for a journey–

by Oświęcim’s abandoned track
how still the candles flame

a choir of exclamations
singular as stars

why is this night different from all others

answers with its repetition

an ineluctable why
rends the still air with lamentation

wonder

in the mind a place for wings
Seán Body
From Shouldering Back the Day (Lapwing 2013)