Lord God, there is much I don’t understand..
and to me almost everything is a mystery.

If I told count the stars and give them names,
I could tell you why you named me Sorrow;
and why my old master beat me every day,
so I am marked with stripes along my head and underneath my belly.

Yet, Lord God, you chose me, least of donkeys.

You came to the field where I was hobbled for the night;
you patted me, fondling my ears;
you spoke into my healing welts and bruises
and told me that the song of the angels, shepherds, and wise men
would be incomplete without me!

Now you send me on a journey with my new master,
and a woman who is going to have a baby.
The woman strokes my muzzle; she makes for me a bridle of tenderness.

Each evening the man brings me fresh hay and water; with gentle words
he makes for me a harness of mercy. My ears swivel to the sound of their voices.

Under the majesty of the stars, I trundle along with saddle
sores: this is the only prayer I know.

If you had asked me to carry the sun and moon and stars
on my back, I would have knelt and tried. But you have only asked
me to join my harsh heehaw to the song of the angels.

I will sing to you as long as I live.
I will open my mouth and bray for the homeless, the lost ones.

Lord God, I have tried to bray your new name and failed;
but when all creation catches its breath in pain, I cry out HEEHAW,
and it is the cry of a beaten child, the wheeze of a refugee —

Lord God, I am practicing, I am practicing all along the road to Bethlehem:

Heeee … haw

H’ Jeeee.. h’s saw hs

Is it enough?

Lord God, I can almost say

J’eeee   s’aws …

This lovely collection of poetry and prose penned by Barbara Colebrook Peace of Victoria, BC is a re-imagining of the Christmas story from multiple points of view: God’s, Christ’s, Mary’s, Joseph’s, an innkeeper, Bethlehem, the moon, a donkey and more. By turns playful, meditative and mystical, these renderings are imbued with the poet’s own vision of the immensity of God, space and time and our own small place in the world.
“Duet for Wings and Eagles,” published by Sono Nis Press, Winlaw, BC 2008