Sonnet: At Christmas Midnight Mass

This was written as a response to a challenge in my writing group on Discord.

Sonnet: At Christmas Midnight Mass
Photo by mahdi rezaei / Unsplash

A priest pearlescent, down the nave at night

His arms outstretched, his eyes twin candle-points,

Blesses us.  It’s Christmas; midnight’s bright:

And thick with incense, straining choral voice.


But my time here has fallen out of joint

I cannot get the measure of its pace;

My childish voice sullens, a moody grunt

My body fills the awkwardness of space.


He raises Christ.  The bell invites me then,

I go up with the rest, but with each step

Something drops away; something begins

And candles disappear like smoky breath.

Christ crucified: His half-moon eyes gaze down;

I loved Him, once: there’s little of Him now.