Flight into Egypt

Christmas poem

A Christmas poem

Flight into Egypt

Cradling small homages of gold
and spices, Judea’s king hears children
at play in shadowed courtyards —
shouting as before Jericho’s walls;
imagines a swaddled,
suckling infant on the throne.

Sage Oriental travelers, divining
murder in darting eyes and taut,
whitened lips — sly whispers
during third watch; bribe a stablehand
for their spitting mounts.

Above eastern hills, early light
stretches behind pacing sentries and
listless beggars — lengthens; strengthens;
crosses a carpenter’s easy sleep with
nails, hammer, blood on fresh-hewn
wood and sudden partings.

Sally Sampson

[from Student Leadership journal]