new Mennonite Life logo    December 2000     vol. 55 no. 4     Back to Table of Contents

Janet Toews Berg

Alien Birth

Quivering masses of people congealed,
spilled out into the intersection.
In pause mode from Christmas shopping,
transfixed by the tree heavy with unlit light buds.
Waiting for the annual Tree-lighting ceremony.

The mayor speaks from the stage, he is thankful
to all who have come on this festive day.
And to the merchants who have made it all possible.
With a flip of the switch, the crowds gasp
to life and applause by the shower of lights.

A darkened store plays the holiday blockbuster movie
flickering eerily blue in a quiet corner.
A woman cries out, giving an alien.
Men in black laugh at the absurdity and
go back to their mission.

No longer rooted by their wonder
becoming customers again, the throngs
resume their determination on this First Day.
Jingling, jostling, filling stores and bags.
Thankfully undisturbed by the alien birth.