One small deer, perfectly still, pasture barren today and cold.
Three hawks circle overhead, searching. Sudbury’s sky dull
charcoal. A lone coyote crosses leaf-filled yards. Turkeys fatten
and stroll, cautious as they forage. Fragile songs in the trees.
Winter’s whispers sough in the wind and I am listening hard,
Christmas coming as it does, nuanced steps in the darkness.
Those Wise Men of old no longer travel. The man and his wife
are coming. Their baby will arrive in the night while, all around,
other mothers and babies are slain. This is a modern telling
of an old story that repeats itself—killing and then, somehow,
rebirth of hope. We set out soup, milk, cookies, blankets, pillows.
We will not sleep until we hear the bells, wings of angels, children
catching stardust as they reach, we two in the moon’s shadow,
shepherds watching in the cold, cold starlight, beginning to sing.