Friday, December 23, 2016

The second gift of Christmas

After Matthew 1:18-25

A wife to be, then.
A child to be, then.
A man whose marriage, then,
was not to be.

He did not beat his breasts
he did not tear his clothes
he did not shout his victimhood

he moved quietly
because of regard
because of feeling
for her
his self was crushed
but he was a righteous man
a fair man, a just man

until the dream
the second dream
and he knew
what he thought a curse
had become a gift
the second gift

a gift to care for
a gift to grow
a gift to protect
a gift to name

Painting: The Dream of St. Joseph, oil on canvas (1642-43) by Philippe de Champaigne; National Gallery, London.

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