Laureate Offers Poetic Thoughts On Christmas

(Ron Koertge is the official poet laureate of South Pasadena. He offered up the following poem for the Christmas season.)

Touring the Crèches

By Ron Koertge

The Marys were fine, all with those

innocent necks, but Sondra Knott had the eyes,

too, and got my vote.  The Presbyterians

used a real  baby and Willoughby’s donkey,

even though Sonia Willoughby was a Baptist!

The heavenly hosts were pretty good 

but mighty low to the ground and Skipper

Webb, the Unitarian minister’s boy,

played his trombone.

Driving by again just after midnight,

all the Magi were home, their beards laid out  

neatly on the chifferobes;  Sondra Knott asleep

in her flannel pajamas and socks; the baby

in the wake of Tonka Town. Only Willoughby’s

donkey under a single hanging bulb

like he’d just had an absolutely terrific idea,

one that could change the world.

“In Los Angeles we can drive through Griffith Park 

with hundreds of others or line up for Christmas 

Tree Lane.  I like to remember the more modest

celebrations in small towns all across the Mid-West.”

Ron Koertge can be reached at