Second Sunday of Advent


The doves beat their wings rhythmically
on the cages
as coins clinked, sheep bleated
and the men shouted.
The burnt smells coming on the smoke
washing over holy stones
worn smooth by generations
The old woman
willow thin, knees calloused
rubbed rough
by daily petitions,
traces with arthritic hand
the contours of the consolation
in the soft curve of the infant's face.
His small hand grasps her bent finger
in an answer
to all her prayers.

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