The Mágos, a poem

by | Jan 6, 2022 | Christmas

Matthew calls them “Magi”
Everyone else skips them
But nobody ever calls them “kings”
Or “wise men”

We did that. The later ones
Who wanted to worship, to follow,
Who couldn’t imagine foreign wisdom
Or authority
That wasn’t a monarch
Or a man
How we labor to squeeze God into our box

But I like to imagine a wise woman
Decked in filigree and shine
Who saw a star and knew in her deepest gut
That something Big was happening

She sailed over sand seas,
Rough waters, peril on one horizon and hope on the other
Trusting in the truth of that hope
To carry her ashore

Where sat a small unremarkable shelter
And that itch, the one she couldn’t describe,
Was finally scratched

She pushed through a crowd
Thick with animals and onlookers
Sure of her destination

Pulling a gold chain from across her face,
To delight the babe who laughed as children do
Anointing him with oil, marking his destiny,
And setting incense alight so that the stale smell of beasts might be, for the moment, forgotten

Then, after cradling him and watching his unfocused eyes search her smile,
She set him down with a brush of lips to forehead

And came to his mother,
Exhausted, rejoicing

These two queens of the universe,
Embracing in the knowledge
That in this particular Now,
Now that hope and truth had flesh,
They could breathe and wonder and fear

And she stroked the sleeping face
The labor done, the work beginning

Looking to the star, she figured she might stay


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.


Shane Liesegang, SJ   /   OptimistPanda   /   All posts by Shane