A Sign for You
I edited this again, and yes, it is even more dystopian. But it seems appropriate this grief-stricken season.
It is not angelic Excelsis Deos, but
a mother’s anguished cry he first hears–
then the baby king breathes in
the scent of dung,
opens eyes to smears of blood
feels the earth rumble
with soldier’s horse’s hooves —
and tastes the tears of Rachel’s lament.
The smelly vagrants who visit,
who are first to wonder at Heaven’s exile:
an infant bound in cloths
laid in an animal’s trough,
nestled in a hollow
made in a cold stone, resting
like a corpse in a sarcophagus —
know suffering marks his true advent.
But we outfit the parents with halos,
snuggle a fat baby in a cosy blanket,
and sprinkle the scene with pretty angels
spangled in gold. We must tell our story
voiced with British accents
for suburban flat screens, drenched in sentiment.
We strip the angelic message of its mourning
–but it was for orphans and lepers
and hookers –for the night shift workers
He was anointed.
He came for haters of Christmas,
and of Him. Even Creation groaned
at His birth–and a dragon waited to devour Him.
The bright star leads to a tomb.
The sign for you yet still
is cloth strips and hollowed-out stone.