This December, I'll be posting the poems I’ve written on the theme of Christmas. They’ll be in chronological order, giving readers a chance to see if I’ve improved over the years. I say that honestly, because my first Christmas poem set a standard that was hard for me to surpass.
I wrote “A Christmas Thought” at age 13. Its message foreshadowed the serious disposition that would mark the rest of my life. Even now, I wonder how I could have been so deep and analytical at that age, but it was authentic. I remember, some time after writing it, my mom asked me to read it to some visiting relatives. I actually broke down in sobs and could hardly get through it.
A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT
When Christmas comes with Christmas trees
And Christmas gifts and fine candies,
I wonder what the Savior sighs
As He stares down from Heaven’s skies.
Not many people dare neglect
To pay this day its due respect
By the exchange of gifts in turn.
But of the meaning, what concern?
A time for fun, a time for play,
A jolly time is Christmas Day!
Look at the gifts beneath the tree.
A gift for me! A gift for me!
What happened years and years ago
That we do honor this day so?
I think it’s kept to give applause
To some old man named Santa Claus.
No school next week, it’s Christmas time,
So class, let’s sing the Christmas rhyme;
“Oh hurry, hurry, Christmas Day!
Please hurry, Santa, on your way!
Bring with you candy canes and toys
For all the little girls and boys.”
Oh, this wicked season’s chills
And Christmas cards and Christmas bills!
The party’s still young, pal, don’t leave.
Have one more beer; it’s Christmas Eve.
Yes, the memory of the Son,
Who is the Christmas Holy One,
Seems to have found a minor place
Behind the mask of a Christmas face.
Tell us, Grandma, we want to know,
At Christmas time, why does it snow?
Someone up in Heaven, my dears,
Cries many sad, unhappy tears
And as they fall, the cold world’s air
Freezes them all without a care.
— David L. Hatton, 1963
(this is in Poems Between Heaven and Hell —
for purchasing it, go to My Books 4 Sale)