Advent 22

Christmas Truce

It seems impossible
that in the middle
of all that war –
that blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
football could break out –
that one man could trust
the Christmas spirit,
hope, faith, love,
enough to stand exposed
and take others with him
out onto the hard ground
of no-man’s-land,
that those men could rise up
from those living graves
and the net woven by
peace, joy, love
could be strong enough
to hold them:
that someone could produce
a ball –
as if this was a
factory outing to
Bridlington, or some
Sunday school picnic
on a green meadow
leading down to a
brown river, where there
might be trout –
and those young bodies,
curled and cramped –
blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
could run and kick,
and their shouts be heard
up and down the line
until the end of Christmas.


December 22 – it’s getting really close now! I hope you’ve finished your shopping, and wrapping, and are getting ready to hunker down for the duration. This is a reminder of what Christmas can mean.