THE NEXT DAY
The women awakened before it was light
and gathered together some things she’d need.
They found her there, curled on her makeshift bed,
clumsily nursing the child at her breast.
Her husband was still sound asleep.
Surely the men were crazy, all the commotion.
Angels and voices in the sky.
A warrior or a king, or somesuch
come to free them from their lot.
Well that was fine.
But here was the inexperienced mother.
They covered the straw with the cloth they had brought,
and settled the baby more comfortably.
They fed her the potion
to make the blood stop and the milk come down.
A few sparrows stirred awake in the rafters.
No sign of an angel anywhere.