24 December 1971 of the year

V. S.

On Christmas all the little magicians.
In food and crush slush.
Due to banks coffee halvah
produces siege counter
a pile of bundles loaded with people:
each his own king and camel.

Grids, bags, shopping bags, ball,
hats, ties, whipped sideways.
The smell of vodka, needles and cod,
mandarinov, cinnamon and apples.
chaos lic, and do not see the trail
to Bethlehem because of snow pellets.

And hawkers modest gifts
Transport leap in, bursting in the door,
disappear failures yards,
even knowing, that empty cave:
no animals, nor creches, He us,
of which - gold halo.

Emptiness. But at the thought of her
suddenly see the light as if from nowhere.
I knew Herod, that he is stronger than,
the more likely, inevitable miracle.
The constancy of the relationship –
the main mechanism for Christmas.

Then celebrate now everywhere,
that his approach, shifting
all tables. Do not need a star
let another, but it was the will of the good
in the human visible from afar,
and bonfires lit the shepherds.

snowing; do not smoke, but the pipe
pipe roofs. All persons, like spots.
Herod five. The women hide the children.
Who is coming - it is not clear to anyone:
we do not know will, and heart
suddenly can not recognize a stranger.

But, when the door drafts
from the night of thick fog
figure arises in scarf,
and Baby, and the Holy Spirit
you feel in yourself without shame;
look at the sky and see - Star.

January 1972

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Joseph Brodsky
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