Poems for Advent 4
Pin prick on a map of stars
to lines that cross and hardly show
in the dialogue of connecting
contours and relief.
A man in a back street ' 1 star' hotel
basks in the flush
of his rooms fully booked
and resined wine.
In the adjoining makeshift porch
tourists jostle - shout;
clamour at a portable desk
This could be any town
in a thousand mile stretch of hill,
sand and road; a place you pass
through on the way to somewhere else.
But at 6 o'clock a tired donkey
kicks up dust on the outskirts,
and a woman close to her time
groans at a first contraction.
Her husband, inarticulate but shrewd
asks for directions - help:
sifts through the permutations
and plants his feet.
The hotel owner on his rounds
locks necessary doors; checks
an outback stable and bolts the hasp -
when someone knocks.
And night is but a single star
that leads to cattle troughs
and a quiet empty place in hay
where heaven waits to be announced.