the birth

When waves of pain contort Mary’s body
her face is cramped and pale
Her eyes scuttle apart like crabs
The waves pull, recede again

and attack more violently
She clings to the wagon wheel,
grits her teeth, and her screams
terrify the beasts in the stable

Joseph, pacing nervously,
stumbles and falls
At last, seated, he strokes her back,
grasps her hand; his strength flows into her

Then a tremendous power moves within Mary
Like the sun emerging from a mountain ravine
the infant’s head appears slowly, deliberately
Joseph grips it in both hands

Now the baby’s cry flies out, rends the night
Joseph’s doubts dissolve
On the straw bed
Mary peacefully shuts her eyes

Yorifumi Yaguchi, born 1935, Japanese Mennonite poet and pastor

___________________

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

El Niño, John Adams 

 

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