It is about the
nativity, of course,
although it has not happened yet.
The pregnant possibility lies in the straw,
heavy with the promise of a New Jerusalem
that is far too distant
even for angels and shepherds to see.
Carols are sung about the imminence
that has not yet risen in the silent night.
It is all about what happens next.
Expectation hangs like an ornament
on the fir by the fire.
Royalty from Persia left their kingdoms years ago,
but the caravan has no arrived yet.
The magi are as curious as you or I.
Why else make the journey
on suspicions raised by a rogue comet?
Blind men and lepers are already lined up
For what, they do not know.
There are rumors about rumors
and a quickening of the pulse—nothing more.
The unwed mother in the Bowery knows this
as does the junkie who throws away the needle
because he saw an angel in his delirium.
The rehab center was always in Bethlehem.
The alarm clock sings, and I pull myself
out of bed.
Tonight, I am told, is about magic,
and I’m willing to place my bet on a mustard seed.
Why else make the journey?