Nativity

A gathered hush
Like a silent breath
Condensed in freezing air
The night sky
Ruled by a blazing star
That they say was never there.

A stable scene
With shepherds standing
All around the manger.
A newborn child
Whose wise mother knows
And whose father sees the danger.

A thousand legends
Born and fade, some carved
In stone, some blown away like sand
Each page written
In blood or ink – or tears that cleave
As history turns the leaves.

And yet again
Another child born
A hostage to fortune.
Princess or pauper
God or humble clay
Mortality awaits each in their day.

E.M. Swift-Hook

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