Walking through sleepy Christmas Eve Milwaukee,

Go by house where no one’s home but

Outdoor life-size inflatable Nativity Scene is illuminated,

Inflated Mary & Joseph, inflated Wise Men and inflated gifts,

Inflated shepherds, farm animals and stable,

Inflated angels with inflated wings and halos,

Inflated Star of Bethlehem, inflated manger

But baby Jesus is deflated!

So I spoke to the deflated baby Jesus

I might be an atheist agnostic nature worshipper not a Christian

Yet I would kneel and blow up and re-inflate you

And patch a the leak or re-plug the air spigot

For doesn’t baby Jesus say as much about love

Without speaking

Than all the words Christ said?

Kneeling down and discovering the valve open

I gently blow air inside Jesus—

Cold winter Wisconsin fresh air

inhaled into my lungs and exhaled into Jesus—

Hoping no neighbor calls the police or shoots me!

I’m not a terrorist who explodes Nativity Scenes

But an atheist who blows up deflated Christ child.

Now you look like a baby again, Jesus—

Your eyes of wonder and wisdom gaze up at me.

Here. let me tuck you in, little one

It’s ok your mother and father and the rest

Don’t acknowledge me or thank me.

Even you remain silent looking up at me.,

I understand, little one.

We’re all looking down at you

   with love.