What manner of salutation this?
The angel's presage of waiting labor,
of a burden-before-Being so common,
life's ubiquitous prop of progeny
this one time rare.
Seen there, a brilliant sun filling space
cast to a meager flicker, a warmth in one womb
for a near calendar of days
'til that one night you threshed in pain.
His cry, keeping time with your labored breaths,
with the lamb and the ox,
knew then only an initial hunger,
the thirst we all have known.
you he knew best before he remembered.
Worlds without number once grasped,
his little hands clasped the still damp strands of your hair.
He who first formed clay
was known only to you and a carpenter,
to men who watched sheep,
but to no others.
When you kept these things and pondered,
what did you keep?