Emily Kerlin

Christmas Eve
by Emily Kerlin

It was the third verse, just as our mouths fixed triumphant. Our eyes moved from the brown hymnal to heaven as he prepared his second liftoff from the choir loft. This time he pinged his ultrasonic notes to the wooden altar. The woman of the cloth ducked. We sang on with trepidation to Bethlehem as he took flight again. Swooping like a small leathery kite. Hands covered heads, gasps. Even the air felt frantic. Windows were opened.The nave turned cold. Glory in the highest trailed as he winged his panicked body fast into the pipes of a 1912 George Kilgan & Son. It rang out loudly for the Lord, and we promised to adore Him before all went quiet. A woman rose to close the window. A little girl in a red satin dress stood in the aisle, head tipped back, eyes wide.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Emily KerlinEmily Kerlin studied Creative Writing at Antioch College. She has been teaching the difference between “chicken” and “kitchen” to English Language Learners in public schools for the last 10 years. She lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband, four teenagers and a geriatric brown dog.

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