"A Christmas Carol has been a favorite story by Dickens for quite some time now. The notion that the spirits that Scrooge encounters are resigned to continue to try eternally to do some good work in the world but are no longer able to is a haunting element of the story that stays with you. I believe that Dickens wrote the story for the Scrooge in all of us, that part of our hearts that needs to be turned from stony indifference toward the sufferings of our fellow man to the heart of love. Sarah's poem takes a deeper look at the moral implications of A Christmas Carol in a brilliant way-the poem is filled with a sharp clarity and foreboding." - T. Byron Kelly, N/S Editor
How Can We Endure It?
I am with you as you face the Ghost,
Feel the hairs going prickly on your neck
The spread of cold dread dissolving your faith
You swallow the pointless words unspoken,
“Spirit, show me no more.”
I am with you when you see the dark arm
Raise its fleshless finger toward the hovel
Pointing to the idle crutches fireside.
O Ebenezer, in that cursed moment,
before the Ghost of What is Yet to Come,
when your contrite heart, so newly hope-filled,
iced over in dread when you saw the cost
Learned the consequences of existence..
Saw that others paid the price for your sins.
The weight of your meager happiness cracked
The thinning lattice of narrow shoulders
Revealing a misery all your own
Now, bursting from your throat is the question:
“O Spirit. How can we endure it?”
Perhaps you can now create your own joy
You could dirty your hands with messy bonds
Lighten your conscience and coffers alike.
Reduce yourself to share humanity
you might find something lasting, forgiving.
A great happiness could be built on such,
Perhaps one strong enough to protect you.
Do the Ghosts only come once a lifetime?
Can redemption be earned in one evening?
Make sure you weave your bedclothes with progress.
Banish the shadows with good deeds piled high.
Hope you have changed enough that you ward off
Any future visits from the Spirit.
Who among us can stand before the Wraith,
Dark arm raised, terrible finger pointing
To a dread stele engraved with your name?
All progress and good deeds returned to dust.
You could hold up your flimsy shield of joy,
Turn your eyes from the impending doom;
You must beg aloud to be shown no more
For you will be no better prepared to