Pilgrims Three

Pilgrims Three

A cloud of dust
arises in the East;
a troop of camels
and three
turbaned gentlemen
appear on the horizon.

Like watchmen
they have scanned
the nightly skies,
alert to subtle changes,
aware of every movement
of the heavenly host.

A bright new star
has arisen in the sky,
outshining its companions;
a beacon in the wilderness,
a powerful summons:
Come and see!

Their wondering hearts
and yearning souls
lead them onward,
irresistibly,
anxiously,
hopefully.

It is no mistake,
yet no one seems to know:
a king has been born.
A king!
A king is in your midst.
How could you fail to notice?

Shoulders shrug,
heads down,
busy about the business
of laying low,
no one dares discuss
the replacement of their ruler.

But they waited so long,
and watched so patiently,
and have come so far;
there’s no turning back
in their search
for the hidden Treasure

Then Rome’s very own,
completely owned,
man in Jerusalem
stops them in their tracks;
he, too, seeks the child,
for reasons of his own.

Even the devil can,
unwittingly,
do the Eternal’s bidding;
this pasteboard king
unknowingly
directs them to their goal.

Farther ahead,
though their bones are weary,
farther along,
though their hope is fading;
the star’s light
leads the way.

And then it stops
and stays.
At last!
Finally!
We’re here!
This is it!

The process of dismounting
inelegant, awkward, and unrefined;
made more so by stiff and aching bodies
from months of constant travel.
None of us is as young
as we once were.

Yet strangely —
miraculously, some might say —
the instant their feet touch the ground
their youthful energy is restored;
there is a spring in their step
as if they had been born anew.

Like schoolboys
set free from the classroom
they rush toward the door,
pushing and shoving and laughing;
hearts filled
with sheer delight.

They found themselves
in a plain workman’s hut;
it wasn’t a palace —
not even close;
this was an odd
royal family, indeed!

A sweet child,
a lovely woman,
a kind man;
a nice family, to be sure –
but you’d never guess
they were special.

Except for a
certain something;
a brightness in the room,
that knowing look
in the infant’s eyes,
and his mother’s watchful gaze.

The camels grunt gratefully
as their burdens are lifted.
Precious gifts
of glittering gold and fragrant oils —
offerings intended for a grand vizier —
seemed pointless and insignificant.

The most expensive objects
that could be bought,
the rarest fragrance
that could be found;
and the little king preferred
to play peek-a-boo.

Their task complete,
their curiosity assuaged,
regretfully they take their leave.
With bows and smiles
and uplifted spirits
the wise men head for home,

each one
leaving
behind
a part
of his
heart.

Deborah Beach Giordano
© December 30, 2009

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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