The daily poem from Writer's Almanac recently delivered what may be my very favorite poem of the Christmas season. As is the case so often, it's being aware of the commonplace and "ordinary" that so often brings epiphany, even in the parking lot of Wal-Mart:
Coming Out of Wal-Mart
by Mark DeFoe
The child, puny, paling toward albino,
hands fused on the handlebars of a new bike.
The man, a cut-out of the boy, gnome-like,
grizzled, knotted like a strange root,
guides him out, hand on the boy's shoulder.
They speak, but in language softer than hearing.
The boy steers the bike as if he steered
a soap bubble, a blown glass swan, a cloud.
On the walk they go still. Muzak covers them.
Sun crushes. The man is a tiny horse,
gentle at a fence. The boy's eyes are huge
as a fawn's.
He grips hard the orange and pink,
and purple and green striped handlebars,
smiling the fixed sweet smile of the sainted.
"Coming Out of Wal-Mart" by Mark DeFoe,
from The Green Chair. © Pringle Tree Press