A broken crowd, approaching us,
like Magi trav’lling West,
brings sweet potatoes, smartphones, time;
their Only, but their best.
Though not so much as th’Elder Days
brought forth to grant my Love,
these things are theirs, and great abounds
the wealth brought out thereof.

Prepare the gifts of life, and, bold,
set out in Winter’s cold!
Aged incense? No; not myrrh, nor gold,
but what you are, and hold.

Oh, long awaited harvest crop!
They look so sickly… worn…
ill-used by darker nights and treks…
quick, pour the oat and corn!
The front door – and the back! – they knock!
amassed crowds come at both!
I’ll fetch the maps. Fast! Gather wood,
that we may fill our oath!

Hail, welcome! Far your party’s trod,
through frozen river’s ice;
and under shadowed valley-walls,
to lay your heart’s true price?
No fear! This place is free to you;
for all are welcome, down
in this small entry, cramped with cloaks
for pilgrimage to Town.

Now, Joseph, kindle fire to warm,
and put the kettle on;
for these lost friends, who huddle in
our hostel, wait the Dawn.
Ah! So, by light of crackling heat,
I see the red, from blow
of winds upon one pilgrim’s brow;
but what is that, in tow?

Come now, dread nothing in this house;
I see your sack, your hoard!
Reveal the legacy you bring!
… oh dear, a golden cord.
Have you discerned this great bequest?
I know; when packed inside,
’twas nothing: rubbish, so you say,
yet now, how marv’llous dyed!

It is, in fact, a key-chain rope;
a door, inside your soul,
has sounded gentle knocks, of late?
A quiet, tapping roll?
Yes, I have heard it too, though in
quite diff’rent ways from you;
a call, remote and old, both chills
and thaws, for it is True.

I think I know the place you seek;
it is afar, in lands
that see the sun arise; but luck!
I, too, across the sands,
soon go, with husband, to his Home,
that is, our Bethlehem;
for census has been called; will you
join us, and bring this gem?


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