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The Woman at the Stable

December 25, 2021
By Sister Patricia Hayes, CSA

You have it all wrong!
I would never be at a distance from the baby.
You would have found us both lying in the straw.
Jesus swaddled in my head cloth lying in the crook of my arms,
my head resting on Joseph’s lap.
Like the night, we were half spent.

Your sanitized crèches don’t honor the
bloody, body-cleaving experience of labor.
I can accept that.
What is unacceptable are the depictions
which have us separate.

No mother would leave her newborn thus.
9 months of mutual presence don’t end with delivery.
Jesus is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.
We would not be separated.

Of course I adored him,
but not on my knees as subject to royalty,
although he was of the royal house of David.
I adored him with my eyes, my heart bent
with tenderness and love beyond all telling.

Let the artists draw and the sculptors mold this nativity –
a trinity of connectedness.  Three become one.