Two Mangers

by Alwyn Marriage

There were two mangers
in the stable:
one wood, one stone.

When we laid the newborn 
in the solid stone; 
He gave a tiny whimper, 
shivering with the cold,
then lay too still and quiet, 
so that I clutched Him to my heart
to warm Him, calm my quivering.

We moved Him gently to 
the other manger, where the wood 
received Him as its own, 
drew in its sharpest nails and splinters 
held its breath to hear me sing,
until the darkness deepened
and He slept in peace;

and that was where they came 
and worshipped Him as king.

Alwyn Marriage’s twelve books include poetry, fiction and non-fiction — most recently, The Elder Race (novel) and Pandora’s pandemic (poetry). Her new collection, Possibly a Pomegranate, will be published in Spring 2022She has given readings all over Britain and Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. Formerly a university philosophy lecturer and CEO of two international literacy and literature NGOs, she’s currently Managing Editor of Oversteps Books.

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