Shelley Kahn | An examination of conscience – post holiday spirit blues


Do not tell me to shine my light into a dark room.

I prefer the absence of such interventions

To pedantic purpose and tithed out virtue.


Do not ask me to confess anything to you either.

I long ago opened the hollowed out cage

Emptied its still beating contents in a sieve

And went on my way to the soup kitchen

To eat hearty with my true friends,

While Yuletide chilled the empty altar to excess

With its gaily wrapped boxes chock filled

With nothing we really need or want.


Especially don’t ask me to make fruitless visits

To long ago causes that still make my face burn

As if I really believed in them…


It is too late to cook for the masses anyway,

The cookies are burned, the gift wrap torn,

The little boy at my door with his list

Turned away empty handed,

The coins I would give him

Shrivel in my pocket as I

Toss away my cellphone

And ring the women’s shelter by land line instead.

Talking truth to a desperate human being, I find

Merry times speed past when we redeem each other

And leave both hypocrisy and sainthood behind.


Diverse kids w shopping cart


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One Response to Shelley Kahn | An examination of conscience – post holiday spirit blues

  1. Audrey January 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I recognize in this poem, a deeper, more authentic response…………thoughtul and thought provoking. Thank you.

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