The Night Clerk

When I was born, the midwife said
That one day I’d change history.
Now what she meant has always been,
To all of us, a mystery.

My parents had been way too poor
To send me off somewhere to school,
But they taught me to be honest
And to obey the golden rule.

They taught me what was right and wrong
And the way I should treat others.
They said to just treat everyone
As if they were all my brothers.

And when we said our prayers each night,
They always told me that they knew
That what the mid-wife said of me,
Would turn out, someday, to be true.

And with parental pride they bragged
That I was doing very well,
When I got a job as night clerk
In this old second-rate hotel.

I have a place to sleep each day
And all the food I eat is free.
But the job is such a dead end,
There is no future here for me.

If I can’t find a better one,
I think I’ll be here ‘til I’m dead.
The only thing that I will change
Will be the sheets on every bed.

No one would stay in this old dump
Unless their budget’s awfully tight.
Our building needs a lot of work,
It’s not a very pretty sight.

Just the unimportant stay here.
We’re not the best hotel in town.
The Hilton Hotel on Main Street
Is where the rich are always found.

And if I’m going to change things,
They are the ones I need to meet.
Just one guest that is important
Would surely be a welcomed treat.

Soon, a lot of guests will be here,
To pay their taxes in our town
And everybody is coming
From all the places close around.

There’re so many reservations,
I’m sure we won’t have space enough.
The owner said he’d need my room
And told me I should move my stuff.

Now, I tried to be sarcastic
Because I didn’t give a darn,
So I asked if he intended
To put me outside in the barn!

I guess that I was kind of dumb,
I know that I won’t try it twice,
But once I moved the two cows out,
I fixed the place up really nice.

I used some hay that smelled real fresh
To make myself a kind of bed
In the extra wooden manger
Where the cows are usually fed.

I couldn’t take a lot of time
Or I might have been in trouble.
With so many people coming,
Everyone was working double.

The better rooms were first to go,
They really filled up very fast.
Then all the other rooms were full,
The halls and lobby filled up last.

Then when all the guests were sleeping,
And it was quiet as a tomb,
There came a voice from behind me,
Saying, “Good sir, we need a room”.

Now the man was tired and haggard
Like one who bore a heavy load,
But his wife was young and pretty
With a sweet face that kind of glowed.

Though the husband tried to hide it,
On his face was a look of fear,
For his lovely wife was pregnant
And one could tell her time was near.

Well, there was no room in the Inn
But they both looked so cold and tired,
I knew I would have to help them
Even though it could get me fired.

Every space in the inn was filled
With all the people we could cram,
And every other inn was full
In the whole town of Bethlehem.

But my own space, out in the barn,
That I fixed up, belonged to me,
So I could let Mister Joseph
And his wife Mary have it free.

Then, with no place for me to sleep,
I thought about my mystery.
How could somebody such as I
Have hope of changing history?

If all of the inns were filled that night in Bethlehem, then there must have been inns. If there were inns, then there must have been night clerks. One certain night clerk that night, two thousand years ago, could have gotten his name recorded in history. Instead, we will never know just who let Mary and Joseph use their stable. The poem is, of course, tongue in cheek. People who don’t understand my humor are always pointing out that I am mixing modern times with Biblical times. Don’t let that throw you, just enjoy the poem.


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