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Christmas Eve at The Waldorf Astoria

New York City 2006

Christmas Eve at The Waldorf Astoria.Jesus brought our bags
up to Room 805
at a little after Three.

He stayed
only long enough
to show us
the mini-bar,
and how to manage
the thermostat.

He let us know
that room service
would bring whatever
we desired.
Around the clock.

He was shorter
than I might have
imagined, from those
paintings of Caravaggio,
and all of the
crucifixes of my childhood.

Hair sable, and newly cut,
He wore a gray uniform,
like the others in His place,
alive to serve mankind.
The outer edge
of His heels were
burnished by the miles
of pavement and carpet.

I wanted to ask Him
about The War,
and the crying babies
in East Harlem.
The dripping glaciers,
and where to find
a thing like Justice
in a world turning itself
inside out.

I wanted to know
if He could ever recall
sixty-three degrees
in New York City, at
the tail end of December.

But, I did not wish
to add to
His burden.

The Lobby
was teeming with
Italians and Minnesotans
and French and
Asians of many kinds.
All staring up
each time the chimes
rolled out from that
fabled golden clock.

There was only time,
to press a folded five
into His palm,
to thank him
for bearing the weight
for us who are travelers.

And He smiled
in a way which
reassured me that
would be alright.


Daniel Thomas Moran



"The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them."

-Henry David Thoreau


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