Advent

 
  "The Manger" by  Greyson Joralemon

"The Manger" by Greyson Joralemon

 

 

It must have been terribly disappointing
arriving at Bethlehem nine months pregnant
and wishing You were home
angry the jewtraitor keeps tabs on You now
and gives you numbers for Rome.
Your in-laws were the traditional sort,
proud of a name with no means.
All but they are done with the Davidide—
the cruel mime of a pride this nation once wore.
There are no kings anymore:
all Your thrones
usurped by senate and caesar,
publican and priest.
And You had thought, “maybe...”
How disappointing this all must be.

Of course the inn is full.
No one believed You had eloped,
and You dare not tell the truth.
You are not sure You believe Yourself anymore.
You said You were a maid—
a handmaid of the Lord
for Him to do whate’er He would with You—
but to them You are a whore,
which You could accept
would they acquit Your betrothed.
His mettle is suspect too;
The source of his courage is his crotch
as far as they’re concerned.
You are an obligation
a ball and chain,
a cow in a sheep’s herd.
How disappointing you must be.

The straw scratches the soles of Your feet.
Joseph crouches to receive—
for not even the midwife could be seen with—
Your Bloody First, forsaken at birth,
His Nose alive to the first smells of earth:
horseshit.
Your sweat and tears and screams
welter in the stables of our shame,
in the awkward excitement
of shepherd and mage,
confused and afraid
to behold the Mess Your Vulva ejected
but never claimed—
and You are supposed to believe
this is God.

 

 


Andrea Thornton: "There's not much to say really. I am a Catholic convert and a professional chaplain trying to do my part to heal the wounds on the soul. Most of these wounds are the result of some poor fool's failure to see beauty, opting instead to impose its will on others. Religion itself has suffered too much use to such ends. I write poems because they are useless, and the world needs to practice beholding useless things."