It was a dark and stormy night. As always, I hid under the blanket with an apple, a copy of the Encyclopædia Britannica and a tiny flashlight.
On this occasion, I was engrossed with the sixth volume (Châtelet to Constantine), namely the entry on Christmas. I needed to prepare my arguments for next week’s theology club dispute. And I considered it a ‘dispute’ because rarely was the debate civil. It tended to be more like a wrestling smackdown of biblical proportions.
According to the text, the body of gospel tradition began not with the birth, but the baptism. And Herod the Great ordered the ‘massacre of the innocents’ which was news to me. Hm. Were there really three wise men? Mum and Dad never said anything to me about a census either. And why were the dates listed vague at best?
Anxious, I stared at the holes in my hands. There was no way I was going to win with such lame argumentation. In frustration, I bit my flashlight instead of the apple. Everything plunged into darkness.
But then I pulled myself together. No, those who’d believe would… well, simply believe. I adjusted the light of my halo over the page and read on.
a lustrous apple falls off the market stall
tumbles and rolls down the messy road
the ground is all bespattered and footworn
a tired stallkeeper takes the apple, puts it back
unsold produce is covered with a grey tarp at night
gets ripe then rots according to nature’s plan
a dirty apple with a battered side cannot sleep
nor stop thinking of that road and the meaning of life