To miss the mark, to lose my way,
to choose the dark, on Christmas Day.

No star I see, no Virgin Birth.
No joy for me, no peace on earth.

But for a wretch like me He came,
to fetch me from my sin and shame.

So by His manger, now I stand.
My finger in His tiny hand.



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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18 Responses

  1. Peter Hartley

    A very pleasing little jingle for Christmas Day and, while quite reverent, short enough not to interfere too seriously with the consumption of mince pies.



    Brothers and Sisters, all Americans! We need Peace!

    Chant the Jericho chant!(3)

    Is it possible to prevent the Second Civil War in America?

    Yes, with God’s help everything is possible!(3)

    Should we wait for the Second Coming of Christ?

    No, it could be to late!(3)

    Could we do, anything in our strength, as Christians?

    Yes, we could! Yes, we would!(3)

    The evildoers are scared by the inescapable indictments!

    They look for divine intervention!

    Let’s have a civil conversation and a true reconsaliation!

    Let’s give them a second chance!(3)

    Pardon and forgive them entirely! Convert and Baptise them,  as Jesus would do for eternity!(3)

    God himself promiced to sanctify us wholly through his Spirit, in Christ to attain true Peace!

    1 Thessal.5:23 (3)

    Peace is possible!
    Say, “No, on the red dragon hegemony!”

    Say, “Yes, on Christ and on Democracy!” (3)

    We are not going to kill each other for the betterment of the evil devil!

    We are going to be blessed by God! (3)

    No, on the pandemic and death!
    Yes, on the eternal life and love!

    Let it be Peace on Earth, Amen and Alleluia!(3)

    Brothers and sisters, all Americans, we need Peace! 

    Chant the Jericho chant!(3)

  3. James A. Tweedie

    Joe, the path you describe is the one we must all take to arrive at the manger—the cross—and the empty tomb. Your verse is beautiful and its closing image is one that will linger in my heart.

  4. Damian Robin

    Precise and vigorous, with binding inner rhyme, at the beginning, loosening to softness at its end. An inevitable, concise journey to a tender destination. Lovely.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    A very nice poem ,Joe. Jaunty but concise; jocund but deadly serious. One of the cleanest, pared-to-the-bone poems I have read in a long time

  6. Margaret Coats

    I echo Damian Robin’s comment above! This poem sent me to my collections of Christmas verse to see if there is anything else so short, and so perfect. “A Wretch Like Me” is in a class by itself.

  7. Joe Tessitore

    Again, thank you all very much.
    These are wonderful comments and they touch me deeply.

  8. David Watt

    Joe, this is a a lovely Christmas verse which proves that a minimum of words may have maximum impact.

    I wish you all the best for the Christmas season.

  9. Mike Bryant

    There is so much embedded in four short couplets. Each contains another couplet- the first, light and darkness, the second and third, joy and peace and sin and shame, and the last, the choice made. Really beautiful and beautifully wrought.


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