Dim the lights and shield the candles
Thirty Kodak cameras flash
Before a yule eve almost shambles
The church grammar primary
‘Seventy-four nativity

Bears the markings of the era
Mary’s in a cut-down kaftan
Joseph: maroon dressing-gown
The donkey is the Johnston’s Afghan
Wise-men wear burnt orange crowns

On folding chairs, denim-ed parents
Lean in close to see their young
Christians? Er, syncretic nearer
Chakras, dolphins, est and Jung
Marys mum fucks wise mans father
Every Tuesday in his Saab Four
At back behind this Babylon
The vicar has his bike clips on
A skivvied teacher plays “moonshadow”
Yells directions, turns the page
As Mary drops potato Jesus
The donkey shits upon the stage

Where are they now, these midget saviours
Decades from their holy labours?
Mary, three grooms in tow
Does Pilates, Lexapro
The vicar, well he made parole
Slashed up in a dole hotel
Josephs end? perhaps the cleanest
“Dentist impregnates his hygienist”
Has a flat, alimonies (two)
Takes the kids to Maccas, then the zoo
The Afghan got the shagpile wet
Boxing day, to the vet

Oh dear we didn’t live the Passion
Caught in spark and die-away
In attics, with old boardgames, fashions
Those photos too, fade to gray
But for a moment, in that place

We had a small, sufficient grace

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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