It was in Bethlehem

that a birth changed the world,
the desert dry, and people

hoping for rain but none fell.
Suddenly out of evening shadows,

a man walked the dusty road.
He was tired from too many miles of travel.

Beside him, his wife straddled a donkey.
She was uncomfortable and about to give birth.

They stopped as soon as they could, having been
ordered by the king—like everyone else—

to report to Bethlehem to pay taxes.  Night came
in relative silence, everyone weary, huddled together.

Distant stars shone from a cold, gray sky.
Strangers looked on, while that dear Virgin

labored in a small barn.  And about midnight,
a baby boy was born with nothing unusual

about the delivery.  The mother nursed her neonate,
hummed to Him softly, while impoverished shepherds

herded sheep in fields of sand.  And when those shepherds
saw His star as a sign, they went to bow before Him

in an act so humble that even today
some deny God actually came.