Grace and Peace to you.
Can this be he?—still bloodied from birth’s strife,
whom I could crush or cradle in my hands,
whose gifted breath does not know hope from life,
nor love from death, which is his swaddling bands?
What victory can they earn, or honor get,
these hands who trust of lap, and mouth of breast,
these eyes, content with dark, that wonder yet
at earth and light and equally the rest?
This child of dust and ashes, son of pain,
who won’t survive, whose hands still bless with good
the very ones that pierce them—though in vain—
somehow draws my love like wounds draw blood!
Yes, the manger is so like a grave,
for only such simplicity can save.
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