The donkey

was tired and wet like me

for my water had broken

over him

though he was not in pain

I was

I wanted my mother

not this strange town

for there were no beds


Joseph returned for the twelfth time

shaking his head, angry

there is no room

he said for the twelfth time

but I’m going to have a baby

as if he didn’t know

it hurts

I’m scared

doesn’t anyone see us?

how can there be no room?

I knew the answer

no one cared

I’ll try again, he said

disappearing into darkness

people had streamed by us

for days

pushing around

getting there faster

it was all wrong

and had been since the beginning

I thought of the angel

will you have God’s son?

what do you mean, God’s son

God’s son


will you?

I am a virgin

it is not possible

God’s son


will you?

the angel’s face was different

bright, kind, earnest

in that minute

I trusted him

my heart said yes

I will

I will do it

then the pulsating force

the energy

the beating of a thousand wings


but now he was gone

and Joseph was too

maybe they had forgotten me

Joseph was a good man

most would have thrown me away

some would have stoned me

yet he did not leave

you are mine, Mary

I am yours

we will stay together

he is at my side again

leading the donkey

leading me


I have a place

underneath all this

a cave?


the smell of animals

moonlight filling the space

one star starting to throb

like me

tears come again

pain tears me apart

but then it is gone


my boy fills my arms

he is beautiful

a star on fire

he needs me

and I him

I have him

and Joseph



we are safe

and that is enough

Reprinted from The Scarlet Cord: Conversations with God’s Chosen Women by O Books, England. All rights reserved.