The Second Shepherd’s Story 🎄

by Michael Collins

I was there all right, and I can tell you,  
They got it wrong.  To start with, it was warm—
So warm, in fact, thick fog had settled on   
The hill.  The night was anything but bright.    
There was just one angel, though Daw, who’d had
A few that night, swears he saw four or five.
One angel in the fog was fine for me.  
He said ‘go down—I’ll watch your flock—go down
To see a baby born in Bethlehem.’
What could we say?  No one wanted to go.
But down we went through the fog to find him.
They weren’t in a stable, but a little 
Shed out behind the inn.  The girl was young
And pretty, but looked worn out with giving 
Birth.  The man, I guessed, was the child’s father,
Though, to tell the truth, he looked old enough
To be the father of the girl.  We stayed 
Around a while, offered them some money, 
And when the girl had gone to sleep,
We left them by themselves there in the dark.  
The angel said a savior had been born
But if you look around the world today
It’s not so clear just what he’s saved us from.  
Those words—“and on earth peace, good will toward men”—
Seem now more like a prayer—that we might yet
Find in the dark something we could not see.    

Michael Collins is Teaching Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s