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Poetically Yours - It's that time of the year

Provided by Karen Fullett-Christensen

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas with poetry by Karen Fullett-Christensen.

Fullett-Christensen is the poet laureate of Aurora, Illinois.

She was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, in the Albany Park and Budlong Woods neighborhoods. She is a 1968 graduate of Mather High School and a 1972 graduate of Northern Illinois University. She briefly attended graduate school at Governors State University. She has resided in several of Chicago’s south and west suburbs and in Missoula, Montana.

In 1996, she received an Earth Champion award from The Missoulian newspaper and three years later was presented with an Individual Award of Excellence from the Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District. Fullett-Christensen was inducted into the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics society, in 2001.

Fullett-Christensen is an active community volunteer and a member of Books and Bread, the Aurora Jewish Renewal Congregation, InterFaith Aurora, and Aurora Downtown. She also co-founded a local writers’ group in 2013 called A-Town Poetics.

Fullett-Christensen and her husband Larry are avid travelers and enjoy classes and adventures with the Lifelong Learning Institute and Road Scholar at Waubonsee Community College.

Music is of great importance to Fullett-Christensen. She is a board member of the Fox Valley Music Foundation and has sung with the Fox Valley Festival Chorus for over ten years.

A proud mother and grandmother, Fullett-Christensen’s eldest daughter lives in Sheffield, England. Her younger daughter and granddaughter live in Evergreen Park, Illinois. Today’s poems celebrate Hanukkah, which begins Sunday Dec. 18 and ends Monday Dec. 26, and Christmas. The Hanukkah poem is called “A Slightly Different Point of View,” and the Christmas one is called “A Christmas Baby.”

A Slightly Different Point of View

The candles have melted,

boxes unwrapped, leftovers stored

One gift remains:

What if we chose to see the world

through an altered window,

in a singular light

asking new questions,

seeking new answers,

Allowing for possibility:

imagine what hope we each might spark

if we promised each other to greet the year

with an open heart, a searching mind,

and a slightly different point of view?

Christmas Baby

Believe in your heart that every child saves us

the true Messiahs come into the world

every moment, everywhere

turn faces away from distant heavens

look instead at swaddled creatures

lying helpless, hoping for sweet loving arms

who can reward us as they grow

returning us to all that matters

gifting us with vibrant dreams

asking that we nurture Earth and all around us

knowing futures all depend

on how we greet all infants born

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.