Like an animatronic donkey with a bum knee,
The hayride lumbers past foam props and fake beards,
The figurines posed, paralyzed mid-miracle,
As if da Vinci did the blocking,
Everyone on the same side of the table.
Mother Mary, reclined in her porcelain skin,
Bone-dry brow, relaxed lips smiling sweetly.
The newborn, clean and clothed, already weeks old,
Sleeps so, so soundly.
Now, I will cast the play,
You will be Joseph and I the Virgin Mary,
Though, you’re a little pale, and I a little old,
And not so much a virgin anymore.
Still, you will play Joseph, a picture of faithfulness,
And I will play Mary, a picture of purity.
And we will walk from stage right to stage left,
A donkey, three-wise-men, and an angel between us.
Then I’ll kneel, screaming at the manger’s edge,
Crucified insides, bursting from between my legs.
There, I will give birth, giving and giving,
Bloody mud and hay coating my calloused feet,
And you’ll hold, in your own trembling hands,
The Son, the Savior, Lord of all Dominions,
A son, but not your own.
And you’ll drown baby Jesus in a trough of water,
Because he looks so beautiful, so faultless,
But nothing like you.