. Advent Poem When October leaves have fallen and November skies are grey, The stores proclaim that Jesus, hope, and joy are on the way. The virgins hear and heed the call (this world they long to flee), And congregate with eager hearts to trim their Christmas trees. Before the purple candle on the Advent wreath can light, Houses gleaming golden-framed wait long through winter nights. They wait for something, watch for something—what, they do not know, And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins long to go. Before the rosy candle on the Advent wreath can shine, The songs are stale, the trees on sale, the virgins full of wine. They laugh about their childhood and the lustful dreams they keep, And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins fall asleep. Before the Paschal candle in the Advent wreath can drip, The Christmas music echoes die; the trees and smiles are stripped. The new year calls. Discard your cheer; the holidays are gone. And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins have moved on. O come, O come, Emmanuel! O Zion, wake, awake! Your prize is not some Christmas gift, nor even Christ the babe: Your Bridegroom comes! Your husband calls! Now fast before you feast. Make haste! Rise up to trim your lamps before your Christmas trees. . . Alena Casey is a poet and writer currently living in Nebraska. Her poetry has been published with The Road Not Taken, the Society of Classical Poets, and The Author’s Journal of Inventive Literature, among others. Her blog can be found here strivingafterink.wordpress.com.