Anno Domini / Mark Bromberg


Another Christmas is past, as so many before.
The tree is taken down, the wreath is off the door.
We go back to our days of uncelebrated joys --
and our nights filled with the sound of wolves at the door.

Pulling old boughs to the curb, our neighbor comes out:
"What's going on over there?" he asks, "Looks like the lights are
     out.
Those folks 'cross the street, they're different you see --
must be a fight. She's a drunk, the kid's nuts, the husband's a
     lout."

"That's what I've heard," his wife adds. Then, "they're up to no
     good.
And others just moved in to our neighborhood --
their religion makes them crazy and their God's not ours.
She must be hiding some weapons under that hood."

The wife smiled at me. "And down the street, honey dear, no wonder they're strange!
A six-pointed star in the window! That's gotta change!"
"Our marriage is threatened by the weird couple next door,"
he said, "I'm told what they do in their bedroom's a cultural war."

He added, "God'll take care of them all, just you wait and see.
Hell's the end for them, not like you and me.
A politician told me if he's elected he'd kick them all out,
and then we'll be the home of the brave, the land of the free."

Ask, then, why doesn't it last, the anno domini,
the year of Our Lord that disappears in a day?
Where do they go, the nights lit by shining stars,
this peace of one night, gone, in the light of one day?

"Why can't they be more like you and like me?"
she interrupted my thought, "you understand, right, you know what I
     mean?
What is it with others, why can't they be neighbors like us?"
as she patted my arm -- and on whose shoulder she leaned.

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