Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch?

Hands that have not touched soap and water,
perhaps, in weeks.
Black fingernails, broken and chipped
lift to greet a sight
bright, blinding in the heavens—
angels bursting forth in God’s reflected glory.
Eyes reel peeking between calloused fingers,
see blurred a host shouting, singing, speaking
and with awe, stutter “why me, why us, Lord?”
from silent lips.
Ears resonate with words, hear but comprehend?
Intent only on the voices of scattered sheep,
the choruses of heaven invade, echo through
the poor hillside shelters of their lives.

And as the glow dims, it’s a jostling,
“Did yo’ see what I saw?” and “Well, why not
let’s go check it out?”
And the draw to Bethlehem, a wonder
indeed. For it was all as the angel said.
Some poor woman an’ her man, a new infant
wrapped up good and tight
from the cold of night
laying in a rough-hewn manger.
And the danger of God coming
Home to mankind not yet understood.
A Deliverer, a Messiah, and what is that?
Some crying child of God in the straw?
And yes. That’s what they saw.

c.Darlene Moore Berg

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