You do not want to touch us,
our lice and filth,
greasy hands that smell
of excrement and wool,
clothes like fleeces
all burry and stained.
But still, beneath your showered skin,
we crouch around the fire.
Listen! something is awake.
Look! the glitter of watching eyes.
And all around in their heaving piles
the sheep doze secure as sheep may be.
Remember: we were the first to know.
They came to us–those singers in the sky.
Remember–Heaven chose the vigilant
to hear the that infant’s cry.