A Christmas Lament by Karen Leslie Hernandez

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the Country
A message was Ringing
Yet no one Care nigh.
The plague has beguiled Us.
The craze has embodied Us.
The holidays are here!
We must not adhere!
Science is fake.
Science speaks nonsense.
Science fences.

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the world
Weeping surrounds us
As souls tumble in furl.
Souls Who chose not to listen.
Souls who listened
But those around them
Did not.
Souls who scream for something different
For relief
That comes only with death
For many, such breadth.

T’was the night before Christmas
The plague is among us.
Never before have We been here
Never before have We had to sacrifice
Never before have We seen such selfishness
Never before have We felt such death
Never before, never before.
Never again do We want to be.

T’was the night before Christmas
And the Tweet-Ster is at War.
With himself
With the Country
With the World
And More.
Squeaking and squawking
He tweets irrelevance and disregard
For all those he let die.
For all those he care nigh.
For all those who cry.

T’was the night before Christmas
The Floor is Lamenting
The Caretakers are crying
At all the lying.
The Caretakers offer Love
To those they do not know
Those they encounter for the first time
Those that show.
Gasping, crying, begging, regretting.
The Caretakers are Compassion
They are Empathy.
They are True.
To All.
To All.
To All.

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the world
We Watch.
We Try.
We Grasp.
We Cling.
We Claw.
We Sit.
In silence and wonder.
We ponder.
How did we get here
How did we get here.

T’was the night before Christmas
We must remember the others.
The homeless.
Black Lives.
All who Suffer.
All who Need.
All who Wish
For a future.

T’was the night before Christmas.
Therein lies the hope.
The Votes are in
And we win!
A new Leader
On the horizon.
A Leader for the Nation.
A Leader for the world.
A Leader.
The ballots didn’t lie.
And to the Tweet-Ster,

T’was the night before Christmas
The World Awaits
A Woman to Lead.
It might have taken years.
But it was so worth the tears.
A Woman of Color.
A Woman of Intelligence.
A Woman of Integrity.
A Woman.
For the first time.
And No, it wasn’t a crime.

T’was the night before Christmas
Therein lies the hope.
The fable.
The prayer.
That someday
We will be able.
And Whole.
Whole, as we wish we could be.
Whole, as we want to be.
Whole, as we know we can be.

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the world
We lay in wait.
We Pray
For More.
For Peace.
That despair wanes
So We can throw away our canes
And We can Say
Again in flight
And to All
To All
To All
A Good Night.


Karen Leslie Hernandez is a theologian and interfaith activist. Her most recent endeavor is starting up her own Interfaith Consulting business in 2021 – RIA-Raising Interfaith Awareness – where she will combine all of her interfaith expertise into writing, lecturing, teaching, facilitating, leading workshops, and peacebuilding. Karen has published with several media outlets including the Women’s United Nations Report Network, The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue/Studies, and she is the only Christian to have published an ongoing Op-Ed Column with OnIslam out of Cairo, Egypt. Some of her past gigs include designing and teaching an Interfaith Dialogue workshop with Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, as well as spending six years working with United Religions Initiative, in several different positions. An Over-Achiever, Karen has not one, but two theological master’s degrees – one from Andover Newton Theological School, the other from Boston University School of Theology. She did her BA at Wellesley College, graduating with honors in her major, Peace and Justice Studies, where she wrote her thesis on Al Qaeda and their misuse religion for political gain. Karen currently lives in California, works at two faith based non-profits, teaches and lectures, graduates in May of 2021 with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Claremont School of Theology, and she is also a certified domestic violence advocate.

Categories: General, Grief, holiday, Politics

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. Karen, how I keened with you – and yet I am so relieved to read a lament that speaks to the truth of what is – we live in a time that forces (some of) us to confront uncertainty/fear/human induced cruelty and indifference – and how can we change if we do not stand in the truth?… So I thank you… and yes, I still believe our only hope lies with women who see. I am especially heartened to see that an Indigenous woman is part of our new story. If – and this is a big if – she is confirmed by the Senate she will support the New Green Deal without which we will soon be unable to breathe. I am always wondering why Indigenous people, those native to this land, aren’t even mentioned as being oppressed although as a group they are the poorest people in the country – not to mention some of the hardest hit by Covid because they live community.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “To the Tweet-Ster, Good-bye”! Amen to that, Sister. So may it be. So mote it be. So must it be. So do we hope that tomorrow will be better for us, for all women, for democracy, for the world. Let us hope we can all say Good Night and it’s a night that’s really good. And that we wake up tomorrow to kindness and principle and law and peace and healing and belief in science.

    The old English teacher in me has to say your poem doesn’t scan….but that’s okay!! You’re expressing important thoughts. Many thanks for your courage to write from your heart and soul as well as your mind. Bright blessings for a better morning tomorrow.


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