Mary rose before sunrise;
the baby was still sleeping,
as were Joseph and most of
the animals, except for one cow
who looked a little sheepish.

The shepherds were long gone.
In their excitement, they had not
cleaned up well after themselves.
The magi were resting somewhere,
waiting to be guided by darkness.

But Mary did not yet know
of gold and myrrh and frankincense;
neither did she know much about
motherhood, messiahs, or
life beyond Bethlehem.

I am up early to finish
the last of the dishes and start
the coffee. The house is quiet
except for my animals
bellowing for breakfast.

I know little of parenting, or
babies, or what to do with
swaddling clothes; I do know
Christ is born again, for the
sixty-fifth time in my life.

In my mind’s eye I watch
Mary turn back to the manger
when she hears her little one cry
for the first time on his first
morning; she is smiling.

My dogs perks up their ears
as though they, too, hear
The crying and look up at me.
“Merry Christmas,” I say,
Wondering what gifts have yet to be opened.



  1. Is “sixty-fifty” a typo version of “sixty-fifth”? Even if it is, I LIKE it! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a blessed everything else.

    • Thanks, Milton. This brought me to tears as I read it to Wynolia. I, too, am waiting to see what gifts God has for me that are yet to be opened. Blessings to you, Ginger, Rachel, and especially those puppies.

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