The Nativity

KD Leigh

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.

About the author

KD Leigh (she/her) is a sophomore at Oklahoma State University. She is pursuing dual degrees in English and History and, as a result, spends much of her free time writing essays. Currently, she works as a tutoring consultant for the OSU writing center where she edits other students’ essays. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school, write even more essays, and continue pursuing her goal of publishing original poetry. In her work, she explores topics such as religious trauma, sexuality, leftist ideals, and mental illness. She currently lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma in an apartment overrun with roommates and possibly too many cats.


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Frontier Mosaic Copyright © 2023 by KD Leigh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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