Just another family on the edge
Not quite our sort, the ones that we pass by,
The dwellers on the margins of our tidy world.
Item: an unwed mother,
A man, not the father, giving her his name,
A journey when all decent girls stay home
To give birth by their mothers.
Item: a squalid birth,
Not even a midwife there,
Not even a decent room.
Strange visitors at midnight,
Such a rough lot – shepherds!
And later foreigners that wore weird clothes,
And babbled about stars.
Item: a midnight flit
Just when they seemed to be settled.
Did they know the sharp cruel soldiers
Bringing grief that dripped like blood?
They went off as refugees
To go and join the heathens.
Not quite the family
For our cosy white bread suburbs,
Never a two-car garage
Or neat bedrooms all en suite,
We weigh hotels by stars,
And we book our rooms online.
But mud and dust and weariness,
Plans overturned by angels,
Pregnant with impossibility,
In the grinding tedium of life.
Chased by deranged royalty
To a foreign, lonely place ..
And bearing with them
All the hope we have.