by Christal Ann Rice Cooper
We closed our bags and ventured into the night – where we saw the star rising. Our grandfathers and their grandfathers told a legend of a baby born king. The four of us, our robes colorful as Joseph’s; our beards neatly trimmed; our skin gold as Asian sun; followed the eastern star; holding gold, frankincense, myrrh and in my hand, the resin tree’s aloe. Herod invited us in for sweet fig wine heated by the fire. Herod wanted to worship Him and to send a message once the Babe was found. Months passed – I missed the blazing fire and the warm wine. The star still beckoned Standing silent over stone fences and grape vines. We walked through the tangled web Of bushes and vines to a mud house – gray – like a tomb. The others walked through the open doorway but my feet froze to the ground. They fell to their knees before a filthy Boy, hugging Him, kissing Him. I ran back through the trees, to the other side, where the sky was now empty, vomited on the ground. . . Now thirty-three years have passed and my sky is still empty. the aloe still in my hand. . . And still this regret for not seeing the eyes of God.
Christal Ann Rice Cooper identifies herself as a Jesus-loving and Gospel-relying person. She is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She maintains a website at www.chrisricecooper.com
She, her husband Wayne, sons Nicholas and Caleb, cats Nation and Alaska reside in the St. Louis area.