The Fourth Wiseman 🎄

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.

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