by Kaitlyn Bancroft
I. 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 II. Consider: 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? Consider: 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 III. 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.