Christmas Night in Bethlehem

There is a warmth on the chilly winter's breath,
That bounces down and around Bethlehem's
Wearied town.
A warm breath,
Of Life,
A breath that darts among the stars and rests
In humble breasts.
A breath transformed from
Ice
To golden butter melting in
The sun.

And in Mary's womb
That breath takes her flesh,
Her chromosomes and genes and all
That is our flesh
And makes of it a home,
Shaped to itself,
Shaped as an emptying-into vessel.
Vein marked and wrinkled flesh,
The ark of the Breath of Life
That yearned to find so small a space
That nothing would be there
Except Him who has no boundaries,
And hence fills no space.

Spices and citrus aromas
Mingle on the night air,
Drifting seductive and ripe
Towards the Massing chapel,
Yellow lights inside bright against the
Sky blotted with ink and musk.
Here crowds pressing hurriedly
Against the chilly air,
Women wrapped in fur and
Men in hats, pulled down but
Jauntily.
The blessed bells chime with echoes bright and dull,
Lowing like the cattle
Across the rooftops, up
and around the spires and minarets.
Lights twinkle and babes are hushed
Rocking, waiting for all that bursts
with Goodness
to pierce the morning skies.

Faith bops on the surface of hearts tonight,
As the sheer goodness of this night,
Of this heaven-in-earth time,
Bursts as fireworks in hearts
Expectant despite themselves,
Hearts that yearn and love the good
Even when shrunken into shriveled memories.








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