‘So now the new messiah’s ours to take’,
thought Joseph as he paid out with delight
two turtle doves for Mary’s cleansing rite.
He joins his waiting wife and son; they make
a rough line for the gate but have to brake,
an old man blocks the path, his eyes alight.
‘Oh Lord let me depart now I’ve had sight
of your salvation, let the world awake.’
The old man studies Mary, then he sighs.
‘This child,’ he said, ‘is going to be a sign,
to mark the fall of many and the rise
of many others but you must resign
yourself to take a sword thrust through your heart.’
The only answer was ‘I’ll play my part.’
A Christmas Garland – VII: 31 December 2014