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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Saturday March 2nd 2024

La Natividad*

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Maria, you shop for tortillas, the tongue”'s comfort,
a bed to lay the evening meal upon.
One eye out for La Migra, one ear cocked for a shout, a boot,
a hard knock on the door.

You hear the bells of tricky angels troubling,
you listen to the voice of God that tells you your womb
is a quarry of bright diamonds,
a pond bearing wounded fish into the world.
How to explain that to a man who spends his days talking to wood?

Finally, you walk.
Together and alone.
You take your feet and the child feasting on your darkness
and you carry into the night, trusting that the dust you walk on,
the water you caress with your eyes is the same dust,
the same dew God used to make the world,
to make the man and woman one and apart and free.

You cross a bridge, you don”'t look back,
you march into the holy, abandoned rock where beasts assemble and you wait.

One by one the heavenly beings return,
with four paws and two,
with wings and fins and feathers,
gathered to watch the little one burst from you and keep the silence love requires.

Look, Maria! Listen!
The voice of God upon your lips.
Even your screams turn the stars into dancing.

* An earlier version of “La Natividad” was first published in www,

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