gerard rochford

Rookie - 0 Points (20th century. / england)

Christmas - Joseph And Mary. - Poem by gerard rochford


i. Joseph.

I work around her. She is a knot in the timber,

her anger is rough bark.

I saw her walking in the hills,

she and her cousin intimate as mothers.

Now she says she’s pregnant by ‘the spirit’.

My friends mock me: And rams give milk, they chant.

I ransack my mind for her lover,

search my dreams for the comfort of angels.

She promises after it’s born that we’ll be lovers.

But her eyes darken my days.

I will grow old waiting, the knot still proud.

I punish my work with rasp and saw,

cut my hands like a novice; red olive wood, red sawdust.

I am making a crib for my Mary; it is stained with blood.

ii. Mary.

He smells of fresh cut cedar and olive wood.

His hands are rough and scarred

stealthily touching my breasts;

afraid of my belly, ashamed of his lust.

There is sawdust still in his hair.

He waits in the dark for my waters to break

and the birth to set us free.

Then, oh then, my love,

our days will be full of laughter,

evenings dipped with bread into the wine.

I will seduce you with my regrets,

you will unbind me with forgiveness,

until we lie together weak as leaves.

No dream, no vision, prophecy, angel, god,

will come between us.

We will live the mundane miracle of love.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Poem Edited: Friday, December 10, 2010

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