the morning after


    Mary rose before sunrise;
    The baby was still sleeping,
    As was 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 for night and the Star.

    But Mary did not yet know
    Of gold and myrrh and frankincense,
    Neither did she know much about
    Motherhood, messiahs, or
    Life beyond this nativity.

    I am up early with a cup
    Of coffee and a donut
    Of a dog asleep in my lap;
    The house is quiet. Christmas
    Has come and is fading away.

    I know little of parenting, or
    Babies, or what to do with
    Swaddling clothes. I do know
    Christ is born again, for the
    Fifty-first time in my life.

    In my mind’s eye I watch
    Mary turn back to the stable
    When she hears her little one cry
    For the first time on his first
    Morning; she is smiling.

    My dog perks up her ears,
    As though she, too, hears
    The crying, and looks up at me.
    “Merry Christmas,” I say,
    Wondering what gifts have yet to be opened.


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