“So we hold on to each other now.”*

“The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds,” 1834, painting by Thomas Cole (Chrysler Museum of Art), Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

It’s almost Christmas. Again.
Saturday, December 18, 2021, 7:16 a.m.,
I’m driving to Planet Fitness,

its “Judgement Free Zone,”
what I need today. Every Day.
Tired of all the playground teams,

the Chosen high-fiving their selection,
their rightness singled out, the Displaced Dying
invisible in the outer darkness of wrong opinion.

Yes, I know I’m judging.
So, turning on my car radio and hearing
Scott Simon’s concluding statement

from his National Public Radio
“Weekend Edition Saturday Opinion,”
I took it as a proclamation

like that announced to those outcast shepherds
in the Judaean hills keeping watch over
their flocks on that cold night above Bethlehem,

Toa Heftiba

a stable, a teenage mother with her newborn son
swaddled in a manger, the Good News
announced by the angel joined by a choir

of angels, the heavenly host proclaiming,
“For unto you is born this day in the city
of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”**

Myriam Zilles

And having learned that the current U.S.
toll of souls succumbed to the Coronavirus,
COVID-19, all strains, is more than 800,000,***

I needed Scott Simon’s conclusion:
“So we hold on to each other now.”
Now. Finally. At last.

*Scott Simon. “Opinon: Albrecht Dürer’s lesson
for all of us today.” 18 December 2021,
8:02 AM ET. Heard on Weekend Edition
Saturday. https://www.npr.org/2021/12/18/1065433105/opinion-albrecht-durers-lesson-for-all-of-us-today

**Luke 2:11, KJV

***The New York Times, 12/20/21: https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus