Advent 2014: Flock Watchers

Untitled

Merry Christmas, friends. Thanks for being with me this season. I feel out of my own words (blessedly, actually), so I'm moving aside for the shepherds. This is how I imagine them.

Flock Watchers

I know what you're thinking--
if he were a king, we wouldn't
be the first to know.
Another clear, cold night
spent with sheep and the fire,
making small talk, rubbing hands together.
This is no life for the comfort-seeker,
but still. Sometimes the holy silence
rains down on us like meteors.

Tonight, it was the singing, 
goddamn choirs in the air.

I'll never be able to say
why or if we lost our minds
(and almost our livelihoods),
covering the fire, leaving sheep,
traipsing into Bethlehem.
Maybe we were flattered, or frightened,
or maybe the flask too hastily drunk.

We arrived, chattering and out of breath,
stumbled into the barn making bets.

Hush! A baby, a mother,
pile of clothes, afterbirth, rustling hay.
Whatever we bet on, it wasn't this, 
this raging, gestational love
that, of all things,
appears to shepherds first.