Irregular Hope: Seven Stanzas for Christmas

Irregular Hope: Seven Stanzas for Christmas


1. Epiphany

Thrice fourteen men and
Just three women named
Between Ur and Nazareth.
The men are rapists, murderers,
Incestuous, adulterers, and the rest.
We read and note the female lives
To be irregular.


2. Benedictus

Pretending to have
Dreamt. Straining to
Forget. Then the blood
Fails to flow. Young enough
Still to be irregular
She tries to hope
For two weeks more.


3. Annunciation

His voice controlled. Effort
Etched into his neck.
He searches for civility.
‘But how? It all seems …
Most irregular.’
She fails to hope
Until he dreams her reality.


4. Quickening

Her belly soon begins to
Swell. Straining to contain the
One who fills time, space.
One day she prays. Between
Her kidneys prayer is heard.
Omnipotence awakes;
She feels it kick.


5. Nunc Dimittis

An unremitting sun and
A dusty track and
A troubled fiancé add
To the weight that
Hangs from the
Front of her torso.
At least the donkey’s gait is regular.


6. Nativity

Of course, where
Animals live the
Straining of females and the
Crying of newborns is
All quite regular.
New life brings new hope
And blood-sodden straw.


7. Advent

Mucus gives way. Waters descend.
Sweat dilutes urine. On
this moment the world balances. The
Spasms that pull her apart
Become more regular.
She subsides. Here is hope:
The Word which spoke light is heard again.



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