No Room for Them in the (Holiday) Inn

Russian icon, Birth of Christ

Christmas Day

Here’s one of my father’s poems, perhaps inspired by the Jean Luc Godard film Hail Mary, which updates the nativity story in a similar way. Merry Christmas to you all from Better Living through Beowulf.


By Scott Bates

They came in on Interstate 93
Past a dozen signs of

And finally stopped at the Holiday Inn
Where she stayed in the car while he went in

And was politely given the information
They unfortunately had made no advance reservation

And although it was regrettable considering her condition
They were all booked up and in any case had no resident physician


So it was at Cohen’s Garage that it came about
With Cohen and his night man helping out

And some workers from the factory across the street
Bringing in beer and something to eat

And finding the babe wrapped in a tarpaulin
And lying in a station wagon

Between a pickup truck and a Dodge V-8
And staying all night to celebrate


So all in all it was quite a night
And she was relieved that everything went all right

And thought to herself that it could have been worse
And welcomed him into the universe

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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