Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Poem for the Epiphany

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago. I seem to be a believer and disbeliever simultaneously!

Sudden Manifestation

On the Day of Three Kings, el Día de los Trés Reyes,
When my Puerto Rican friends feast on
Pasteles, platanos, and arroz con dulce,

I remember my Mother insisting that we keep
The tree up and the manger displayed until
Epiphany, January 6th.

I have suddenly let go of my insistence on absolutes,
Let the stories be stories, the myths be myths
Rather than the truth the whole truth and nothing but—

I let the priest go through his rigamarole
(and rather enjoy much of it, the dress ups, the incense,
The candles, the music, the make believe)—

But the straw has broken the camel’s back
(who was, by the way, trying to get through
The eye of a needle),

And I can no longer believe that Jehovah commands Abraham
To slit his firstborn’s throat, and that the true God
Would have our enemies’ babies bashed against the rocks,

Or that the priesthood is just for men, excluding half the world.

The boys’ club is closed for me.
I still believe, but in a different way.
You might say I’ve had an


                                                            Robert M. Coughlin
                                                                                January 6th, 2013

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