Poems by Ann Weems for Christmas

I have read these two poems numerous times in devotionals and online.  I have never seen a copyright on them, but they are attributed to Ann Weems.  The story I have heard is that she is a minister’s wife who lost her son to murder though I could not confirm that online.  Her poems speak, however, to the heart many feel this time of year as they attempt to celebrate Christmas with a heavy heart.  Perhaps she expresses your heart too. 

Yesterday’s Pain

In the godforsaken, obscene quicksand of life,
there is a deafening alleluia
rising from the souls of those who weep,
and of those who weep with those who weep.
If you watch, you will see
the hand of God
putting the stars back in their skies
one by one
Yesterday’s Pain
Some of us walk in Advent
tethered to our unresolved yesterdays
the pain still stabbing
the hurt still throbbing.
It’s not that we don’t know better;
it’s just that we can’t stand up anymore by ourselves.
On the way of Bethlehem, will you give us a hand?


Not celebrate?
Your burden is too great to bear?
Your loneliness is intensified during this Christmas season?
Your tears have no end?
Not celebrate?
You should lead the celebration!
You should run through the streets
to ring the bells and sing the loudest!
You should fling the tinsel on the tree,
and open your house to your neighbors, and call them in to dance!
For it is you above all others who know the joy of Advent.
It is unto you that a Savior is born this day,
One who comes to lift your burden from your shoulders,
One who comes to wipe the tears from your eyes.
You are not alone,
for He is born this day to you.

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11 thoughts on “Poems by Ann Weems for Christmas

  1. Hey,Ron, This is Ann Weems and the poems are mine and as Sue and Gail wrote, they are from Kneeling in Bethlehem. Thank you, Sue and Gail!
    Ron, have you seen From Advent's Alleluia to Easter's Morning Light? Westminster/John Knox Press . They will even give you permission!
    Blessings to you,Ron, and to you, Sue, and to you, Gail!
    Ann Weems

    • Wow! I'm honored and amazed that you would comment. I'm also very thankful, because I love your work. I'm not a "poetry" guy, but yours speaks to my heart. Thank you!

  2. PS – The poem “Yesterdays Pain” is also in “Kneeling in Bethlehem” but begins at the line ‘Some of us walk into Advent’.

  3. I can’t cite the first, but the second is indeed a poem by Ann Weems published in her book “Kneeling in Bethlehem” (c1980 Westminster Press).