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Jesus celebrates miscellaneous birthdays

August 8, 2022

the morning begins well as he blearily opens his presents
– new sandals! thanks Santa! –
and nostalgically re-arranges Christmas cards on the mantle:
sorry I can’t be there with you today love Mum
best wishes brother from James
many happy returns from Lazarus

then later on the gang shows up
for bread and fish, wafers and wine
Vishnu always demolishes the snacks in record time
Buddha tends to sit in the corner and smile
while Mohammed speaks in verse

Jehovah and Gaia make their brief respectful appearance
before getting back in their Prius and heading off
for more age-appropriate activities
like Christmas bingo at the golf club

then as the afternoon drags on and the heat sets in
Jesus sings birthday songs in his birthday suit
and eventually falls asleep on the couch with Mary Magdalene

in the cool of the evening the Apostles roll in,
with new supplies of beer and the karaoke machine
– they usually pool their resources, because Judas Iscariot
doesn’t get paid until Easter, and Thomas is always unsure about
his ability to pay the rent next week,
and there are on-going concerns about overfishing in the Sea of Galillee

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are always
furiously scribbling in their notebooks,
but the notebooks somehow always get lost
and they have to start again from scratch

at some point there’s a timeless sameness to birthdays
as they pass
but every once in a while it falls on somebody’s Sabbath
and other arrangements have to be made

nothing beats a fresh pair of sandals, though,
especially the ones with go faster stripes

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