Water to Wine

by Kaitlyn Bancroft

You do not doubt the value of the splintered, stinking stable
Nor the integrity of the common manger where our tiny Lord lay

You do not punish the donkey for lacking grandeur and grace
Or the sheep for knowing only the song of its bleats

You do not question the capacity of shepherds to see angels
Or a carpenter to hear a divine voice
Or a teenage girl to bear the Son of God

Tell me, then, why you doubt the worth
Of your widow’s-mite heart


the innkeeper who had only a stable to give
the husband who had only his presence
the mother who, in the throes of birthing, had only her exhausted, mortal strength

Does God hallow anything more
Than that which is offered in wanting?


the silver Judas tried to return
the tears Peter bitterly wept
the rotting animal flesh of your heart, burning on the altar

This, too, is an offering
This, too, is enough

There is a garden, you know the one
It existed then and it exists now, in this very moment
Remove your shoes and tread this ground with me, but be warned:
I will not make of it less than what it is

Do you see Him?
The man who writhes in a pool of His own startling red?
Who bears the particular violence of atoms ripping apart, the supernova shock of each split?

See how it wrings the blood from His skin, the wool becoming scarlet
How the holy gore clumps in His hair
How the devastation of His keening — “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” — sends the glass of shattered stars tumbling down

Do not look away
Tremble and howl, but do not fail to keep this vigil
He asks only that we stay

Hush, now, do you see it?
He is making, of our two loaves and five fishes, a feast fit for the multitudes
He is making, of my sin and ashes, a riot of glory and fire

Kaitlyn Bancroft is a reporter with KSL.com in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, she’s written for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Spectrum & Daily News (part of the USA TODAY NETWORK), The Denver Post, Deseret News, and The Davis Clipper. Former and forthcoming publication credits include Hole In The Head Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Ocotillo Review, The Dread Machine, Bez & Co., and Fleas on the Dog.

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