The door to the church was closed to him, on Christmas Eve.
The foxfires burned in the woods.
Home and hearth were shut to him, on Christmas Eve.
The starry-eyed angels atop the trees barred him from their homes.
The potter's field called to him, on Christmas Eve.
Those long unblessed graves.
Dry treasures gathered from frozen soil.
Along the foxfire path.
Where the tree awaited.
On Christmas Eve, the pale shades gather.
All the unwonted things, cast off from this world.
The meanest spirits, at their lowest ebb.
To follow the foxfire path through the woods.
And gather in company far from the bells of Christmas Mass.
There is no parody in their celebration.
The hanging boughs of mistletoe, the great Yule fire.
Each branch of the sacred tree tipped with macabre ornament.
Relics of those dead, and lost, and forgotten.
Gods and men, spirits and monsters.
He gathered them there, on Christmas Eve.
For company, on that lonely night.
They gathered round, as the fire blazed, to drink in its warmth.
He cracked open the book, and read aloud to the assembled host.
On Christmas Eve.