The Little Drummer Boy 2012 by Barbara Novack

A poem for this season that celebrates the triumph of light over dark, hope over despair.

The radio station has been playing
wall-to-wall Christmas carols
since before Thanksgiving.
I haven't been listening.
The jolly tunes
the jingly bells
the saccharine singers
have not beckoned in this
storm-tossed season of Sandy.

Diminished by the darkness
of disaster,
I have not felt like light.

I have instead felt
the too-muchness of it all
that swamps the soul
makes the heart hollow
makes the gifts meager.

But this morning, in my car,
switching radio stations
searching for something that appealed,
assiduously avoiding the carolers
at the end of the dial,
I heard
. . . pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift for Him

pa rum pum pum pum . . .
I played my drum for Him

pa rum pum pum pum . . .
and He smiled at me  . . .

And tears came
for the little drummer boy
whose gift was enough
and for all of us,
and trying our best,
whose gift
is enough.

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