staffs at their sides, hushed

mouths agape, reeking not
of frankincense and myrrh, but

of linseed oil, sulfur, pitch, and
tar, these rough men
stare, stunned
by My Son’s birth, shocked in

amazed gazing, at

their faces though I recognize, they’re
the providers

of the Paschal lambs, at Passover

for the Temple, they breed and they
take from the ewes their firstborns to
bleed and suffer, sacrificed

to atone for Israel’s sin, but

when their shepherd eyes meet mine
I see on their adoring faces a

glimpse of mute surprise, some

wonder; in an eyebrow’s rise dis-
belief, while something
in their furtive sidelong glances
causes me to further ponder
more, for

they have been trained
to know a sacrificial lamb when

they see One