Verse – Christmas: a Donkey’s Tale

Hee Haw

Burro's ears

Burro’s ears

“Just put the burro here,” he said,
“She’ll calm the horses of the folks
inside the inn.”  And so they tied
me to the pole above the trough.

I was surprised he later led
a man and girl into the stall
and pointing to the straw, he said,
“Sleep here,  this simple space is all
that’s left tonight, and if the child
is born the cries won’t wake the guests.”

He grimaced, but she somehow smiled
and sank down to the ground.  Their rests
did not last long.  Her labor soon
began and then the baby, wrapped
and warm, was laid under the moon
light bright where we, the stock, were trapped
and fed.  I brayed when shepherds dumb
barged in and said a king had come…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Dec. 11, 2012

Hee-Haw

“Just put the burro here,” he said,

“She’ll calm the horses of the folks

inside the inn.”  And so they tied

me to the pole above the trough.

I was surprised he later led

a man and girl into the stall

and pointing to the straw, he said,

“Sleep here,  this simple space is all

that’s left tonight, and if the child

is born the cries won’t wake the guests.”

… 

He grimaced, but she somehow smiled

and sank down to the ground.  Their rests

did not last long.  Her labor soon

began and then the baby, wrapped

and warm, was laid under the moon

light bright where we, the stock, were trapped

and fed.  I brayed when shepherds dumb

barged in and said a king had come…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Dec. 11, 2012

The Nativity, Martin Schongauer,  c. 1470/1475, National Gallery Collection

The Nativity, Martin Schongauer,
c. 1470/1475, National Gallery of Art Collection