Instead of dumping a baby on your doorstep
they bring you songs about one.
Their boots leave cookie-cutter imprints
in the neighborhood’s long white dough.
From house to house they spread glorias and hosannas
and others of the dictionary’s hangers-on.
Inside, their targets are chattering at satellites,
streaming movies with more explosions than dialogue,
leaving history to someone else.
Meanwhile these puff through the cold
like a diorama of steam engines, brightening
the night. They’ll stop at all,
no matter how dim the windows,
or how thick the icicles that lower
fangs at them above bleak porches.
This is faith, if anything deserves the word.
To part the bitter night and bend a shoulder
to apathy and dark doors. The song is all.
The subject is secondary, or rather
it’s this muster to gladness against all logic
for these cramped and captious cells.
In one doorway mother looks out with child,
to whom the words are like extraterrestrials’
trying to grasp the planet’s tongue.
Yet he’ll recall it years hence,
when all songs have begun to sound the same.
How these were more useful than angels
that putter through the sky
and only touch the earth when someone else is watching.