The Silent Night
Drawing by Andrew Grosjean
Poem by Andrew Grosjean 1993
The Silent Night
It was a silent city night that observed the walker pass by.
Lonely and silent, this man was just a small picture of the evening.
Long outer coat closed, and hood pulled over.
What would this walker see tonight?
In the wet falling snow, he heard his boots sound against the stone underneath.
Why was he here? He had no one to see, nothing to do.
It was beauty that drew him out this night.
What an unusual snowfall it was. Fresh snow clung and piled atop black, bare branches.
Ooh, the beauty!
Snow covered fields of tall and tangled brambles and grasses making waves of waterless white.
So, I walked.
Turning a corner, he walked down another street.
So many homes, probably some hundred people in this district, but none saw him.
As he listened to music that no one else heard, tiny specks of snow fell on the tender skin underneath his eyes.
Did it hurt enough to expose his hands to the cold to wipe the small pieces of ice away from his face?
But, oh, the beauty! It was why he endured the cold of the night.
Was his life like this night? Did he endure the pain of this existence
for hope of a few glimpses of beauty along the way?
What if someone confronted him in these city streets?
The man felt the small wooden clubs concealed in the sleeves of his forearms.
Perhaps a necessity in these city streets.
If he must, he would strike one down and take the spoils from the offender.
What might he find?
But these thoughts were the offenders. He put them away from his mind.
So, I walked.
What was his life? This man was strange for certain.
He was as uncommon as this silent night.
The night contained danger and fear, yet also rare beauty and silent acceptance for those who trusted her.
So also the man.
Why did no one venture past the ugliness of the outer man to know the person contained therein?
Why did so few care to know him?
Perhaps for the same reason that no one else braved the cold of this night to see her beauty.
And oh, the beauty! It was all around.
This man was as lonely as this night.
He considered the mark on his body that made him ugly in others’ eyes.
He stood before his God at this point and knew that he stood righteously.
He followed the way of his God.
He knew the ugly mark was still on him, but he was satisfied with what he was.
This night did not apologize for its cold; for that, it could not change.
But it offered to all its rare beauty, as this man offered his friendship and love.
So, I walked.
The night observed the man walking, who had passed this way once but was now come again.
She watched as a loving mother would see a thoughtful child.
What did this man see tonight?
Whatever he saw, it was that of which poetry is made .
This writing was done during a troubled time of my life. While I was approching the end of college, looking forward to graduation, I had no real prospects of where I was headed after. As with many young people, I felt a certain amount of rejection from those that I wanted to fit in with. There were, as there always are, certain troubles with family. But I realized through it all that, of course, God loved me and had a plan though I did not know what it all was. And of course, looking back at it now, I see that much of my isolation was self inflicted. But it sometimes takes a while to realize that. And sure people around us do not always treat us right, but somehow, now so many years later, I really do not remember those wrongs. But I do remember that God brought me through them.
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