A rough-cut beam held up a smoking light.
Old, dryish hay might serve them for a bed,
but perched on top of they spent the night
in wordless wonder at the child she’d bred.
They fled a few days later. Parching dust,
a sullen donkey on a speechless road
through hostile country in their foolish trust
they’d chance upon a bountiful abode –
amidst the branches there’s a rosy child
surrounded by glad faces. Through the haze
of wine-diluted vision it appears
a baroque cherub… No one will get riled
at sights too cold to swallow; in these days
of opulence we’ve only painted tears.