Let Us Go Now

a poem for Christ's Mass

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:15



it happened without our first knowing

the world tilting into new alignment

a stable axis created between the poles

of a heavenward star and a barn baby

born in a house of bread


all nature’s true north at once redirected

to the pull of this new Crux

and yet only the hearts of those

with ears tuned to angels

felt its gravity that first night


just as the moon exerts force equally

on both the water and the clay and each

are moved by it, the clay imperceptibly

and the water so much the whole ocean

feels its sway


but what shall it matter that we were not

the first, it only matters that we not

be the last, so with haste we make way

to the place that holds the consolation

of all who wrestle with God


let us go now and see this thing

with our own eyes, to hear his cries

with our own ears, to feel his warmth

with our own hearts, and see if indeed

such a gift can truly be


because, I dare say, this world cannot

bear it long, we've not sufficient grace to receive

such goodness and joy, and no matter

how we might swaddle him now we will not

keep him bound long


only the one who listens with God

shall know him when he comes through

the gate and sing of this new borne light:

now, Lord, you let your servant go

in peace your word has been fulfilled




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