Saturday, 31 December 2022 12:07

Jesus Comes to the Christmas Parade

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in Poetry
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Jesus Comes to the Christmas Parade

Jesus Comes to the Christmas Parade

by Rebecca Lowe

Jesus came to the Christmas parade,
strangely incongruous amongst
all the dancing reindeer and artificial snow,
almost apologetic, shuffling forward
in his cheap polyester robes.
(The beard, at least, was real,
unlike Santa's, which was looking
decidedly threadbare).

A troop of Army fusiliers
marched past, bearing a six-foot
inflatable Santa, anchored
by ropes ('Let's hope they hold
tight and he doesn't float
away over the bay!' guffawed
the commentator over
the loudspeaker).
One of them carried
a ceremonial sword, to bear
the traditional Christmas message
of Peace and Goodwill to all
(so long as they are not Russian,
Middle Eastern or North Korean).

A scuffle broke in the crowd,
As children and adults alike
Sharp-shouldered their way
to the front, for a glimpse
of a princess in a
human-sized snowglobe.

Jesus looked tired,
resigned, perhaps,
an asylum-seeker fleeing
something colder than death -
indifference or blank
incomprehension.

And if the robes looked fake,
the wounds seemed
real enough - he kept
holding his palms to his face,
inspecting the holes, as if he
still couldn't really believe
he was there -

A small boy in the crowd
pointed and said:
'Hey! It's Jesus!'
His mum feigned a smile,
fished a bottle of Cola
from her bag to keep
him quiet.

And me? I just sat
and watched the whole
sorry charade, wondering:
Is this the way
he really comes back?
And is he defeated,
Or is he just
biding his time?

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Rebecca Lowe

Rebecca Lowe is a journalist, poet and Quaker peace activist, based in Wales, UK. She is a Bread and Roses Spoken Word 2020 Award winner, has appeared on BBC radio, and her poetry has featured in many anthologies including Red Poets, Blackheath Countercultural Review, and the Ymlaen/Onward! anthology of radical Welsh poetry (Culture Matters, 2019).