The Child

What do we bring to this
child lying in the straw, his
eyes gleaming in lantern-
light - we bring the wisdom
and understanding we have
gained over our years - we bring
the gold in our souls, sifted
sifted in the fast-moving river
of our time and circumstance -
we bring our pain:  all the
knife-wounds of others, all the
bad words and broken pieces,
the cracked bone - we bring
all our hopes that died
all our loves that died
all our visions that did not
materialise - we bring our
frailty, the speeding age
we feel in our bodies, our
hearts - we bring the
knowledge of parting when we
too fall like wheat to the
scythe and all our windblown
moments fly like pollen
swirling in the sun.
We bring all we are, all we
have been, all we have done
and the hard parting
of flesh from bone.  The child
yawns, tired, seeing in
shadows and the feel of the
blanket he is wrapped in, warm,
loved.  The weight bears him
down.  He feels no crown.  He
only feels what it is to be
human, at the start of
all things.  Nearby, as the cattle
shuffle, his mother sighs, a
church bell rings.

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