Drunks in the Nativity

They snuck in at the Christmas light show and fund raiser,

Bypassing usual traffic, perishable good donation check points, wandering

Blatant, fearless rejects, wild, blind piloted in automatic.

Barging in, sending statues of Joseph and Mary aside, manhandling

The infant Christ. No gold, frankincense or myrrh, just rot-gut supermarket brand vodka

And generic lemon/lime soda in Solo cups. Countless Stars of Bethlehem flashed above

Along with the movement of confectionary electric color spanning the park,

Bare branches and evergreens both. Gingerbread villages pulsed as Andy Williams

Sang through the decades about what he claimed to be the most wonderful time of the year,

Never mind the scary ghost stories and tales of past glories

whatever the hell those might be.

The families passing through look away, even the actors playing Mr. and Mrs. Clause

Stroll by, too embarrassed to say or even witness. Security is too busy collecting

Unperishable and monetary donations. The inebriated manger occupants launch into

“Oh Holy Night” and caterwaul with something so painfully close to sincerity

That the audience should hesitate, teased by something brushing up close to

A tarnished display of the sacred.

Troy Schoultz is a lifelong Wisconsin resident. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Seattle Review, Rattle, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Word Riot, Fish Drum, The Great American Poetry Show, Steel Toe Review, Midwestern Gothic and many others since 1997. His interests and influences include rock and roll, vinyl LPs, found objects, the paranormal, abandoned places, folklore, old cemeteries and the number five.

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