Shining Forth

We know now
   the night sky as ancient record-
   the ages and eons required
for the light of each star to fall on our eyes.
If we look up.
                      We may even
look upon what has flared out and died
when life was new and God’s song of creation
echoed still through galaxies, the final blast of light
trailing behind, Schroedinger’s star,
   dead and alive at once,
perhaps memory only, but like all memories
   still serving as guide in the now.

Lured by a star, did they
stop as dawn drew a blue
diaphanous veil between earth and heaven?
                                                                    Or did they
continue westward, shifting their allegiance to the sun?

But here they are now, turning up
   dusty, grimy from the road, uneasy.
They shake sand from their beards as if ruefully disagreeing.

The door is low—bowing they enter,
     then bowing again, offering
gold, frankincense, myrrh
power, worship, anointing.
All that meets their eyes
   could be dismissed as humble. Yet
as the infant gaze blinks and falls upon them,
and in eyes as wide and wise as centuries
   the star’s birth flares anew,
                          alpha and omega.

After cradling him gently in callused, weathered hands,
   one by one that fire descended and swelled within each heart.
As if awakened from a dream,
they stumbled through the low-slung door
   to draw all nations to awe and praise.
The road is now elsewhere.
They go home now by another way.

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