coverSong of Bethlehem

I am Bethlehem. I am not
where you think I am, a circle

on a map. My borders extend
to Afghanistan and Ecuador

I am the valley of the shadow of death

I am the room where you warm your hands
while you’re waiting to hear if you have cancer

I am the place where you visit your children
for weekends, when your marriage is broken

I am the prayer you didn’t know you were saying.

When you drift into sleep, and somewhere deep within you
it is snowing, I am

Bethlehem: the place where God
tore himself from himself

Barbara Colebrook Peace

From “Duet for Wings and Eagles,” published by Sono Nis Press, Winlaw, BC 2008