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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 1 January 6, 2024

Christ Came On Christmas

Friday 5 January 2024, by Sagari Chhabra


The earth never knows names
as America, England, Israel;
but states are created
with territories soaked in blood,
races marked:
white, brown, black
in exact order,
there is no disorder.

The victors are heroes
declaring their story
amidst blazing bugles;
the colonized have
no story to tell,
for we live within a well;
we speak in a language
not our own,
our land is taken,
our culture is primitive,
we appear alive
but are smouldering within.

It does not matter
that Columbus came
and sighted the native Indians,
there was no one there.
That the Palestinians
were forced to leave
their land,
but had no hand
in Hitler’s Final Solution
and the dissolution
of six million Jews;
you write the history,
we must exist
in cultural amnesia
marked with aphasia.

Last night was Christmas,
Christ visited me;
he came to the manger
and went on his knees;
wiping the blood
sloshed on the floor.
He wept; I can take this no more.
He asked the wise men
to leave their myrrh
frankincense and gold,
instead to take a hold;
have compassion,
be kind,
I am unable to find
a child not traumatized
in Gaza,
leave the gifts
at the shopping plaza;
come and embrace
black, brown and white,
as kith and kin
within your sight.
Bring peace within yourself
and on earth,
this was my message
for which I was crucified,
for it cannot be denied,
all men are brothers,
these children are your own;
this is my message,
do not disown.

In the dawn
the church bells rang,
the chorus sang,
who would I heed;
the war cry of the leader
or of Christ,
tell me,
O, gentle reader?

Sagari Chhabra
26 December 2023
New Delhi

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