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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Queens Came Late


[Norma Farber (1909-1984) – from “When It Snowed That Night”]

The Queens came late, but the Queens were there
With gifts in their hands and crowns in their hair.
They’d come, these three, like the Kings, from far,
Following, yes, that guiding star.
They’d left their ladles, linens, and looms,
Their children playing in nursery rooms,
And told their sitters: “Take charge! For this
Is a marvelous sight we must not miss!”
The Queens came late, but not too late
To see the animals small and great,
Feathered and furred, domestic and wild,
Gathered to gaze at a mother and child.
And rather than frankincense and myrrh
And gold for the babe, they brought for her
Who held him, a homespun gown of blue,
And chicken soup – with noodles, too –
And a lingering, lasting, cradle-song.
The Queens came late and stayed not long,
For their thoughts already were straining far –
Past manger and mother and guiding star
And a child aglow as a morning sun –
Toward home and children and chores undone.

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