I wonder about the shepherds,

How come they were the ones

the vision of angels overwhelmed?


What softened them up to see

that which others couldn’t?


Was it the despair of grinding poverty?

Or perhaps the terror and grief of a

merciless predator having killed their precious sheep?


And Zechariah, hands lifted at the altar,

grieving for the thousandth time

the lack of a son to take his place and legacy;


And Elizabeth with her flame of life dwindling

from the suspicion that she wasn’t worthy

of God’s answering her prayers or

noticing her longing.

Was her spirit as low as it could go?


And Joseph in his agony over what to do

about sweet little pregnant Mary.

Wasn’t he caught in a soul-tearing, ethical dilemma

in which he might cry to God for guidance?


Perhaps our pits are precious!

Out of them come the terrifying glory

that stuffs the senses to the bursting point,

that throws one off the mundane cliff into the

spiritual realm,

that puts dirt in its perfect place

------in ECSTACY ----- drenched with angels.


Dec. ’04 pcraig


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