Stars and Angels Sing
(Picks up where Follow Yonder Star left off)
Her time almost done, Leesha watched the star
wandering in the sky by day and night.
Not even the sun’s light could hide that star.
It shone with a power beyond her sight.
“Still no room at the inn?” she watched the babe
sleep in the manger after his mother
scrubbed it; some care creased his brow, this sweet babe.
At her touch, the baby smiled, his mother
sat near, shook her head, took Leesha’s hand, squeezed
it, lending strength to keep her anchored there.
Something she discerned in the distance pleased
her; she smiled, her raiment gilded the air.
Then Leesha heard it, voices raised in song.
They sang a rousing chorus, a praise song.
Sarn carried his son, followed the Magi
into a stable, silvered by starlight
making the scene feel hallowed, as the Magi
bowed to a baby, whose power burned Sarn’s sight.
They presented gifts of frankincense, gold
and myrrh as Sarn stepped out to clear his eyes.
Ran slept, his head nestled between cloak folds.
Looking up at the sky, he wondered why
he’d been brought here, why a babe lies in such
mean estate, what child is this laid to rest
where ox and donkey feed? Silent words touched
chords, pleading hearts to enthrone this babe, blest.
Sarn sensed a profound truth was unfolding
before him; he wished for understanding.
Sarn’s questions split the sky, opened heaven
sending forth bright winged angels, singing, “Joy
to the world, the savior’s come, let heaven
and nature sing! Earth receives her King, Joy
to the world!” Their joyful chorus woke Ran
who stared at the huge angels alighting
on the thatch roof. “Why this jubilee? Why
your joyous strains prolong? What tidings can
inspire your heav’nly song?” Sarn asked those high
beings; “gloria,” they sang, “in excelsis
Deo,” as a voice called him back inside.
A woman’s voice, strained and yet, hard to miss,
despite songs echoing from mountain side.
Blanket wrapped, beside the manger, there laid
the old woman from the picture Ran made.
“Bright of eye, fair of face, come near, your name
do tell, for I’ve watched you in stones and dreams,”
the woman extended her hand, her name
she kept secret, as tears in her eyes, gleamed.
“I let streets and strangers raise you–forgive
me, let me go in a peace undeserved.”
Tears tracked shining trails down her cheeks and sieved
truth from her plea, “I’m not what you deserve.
A better woman would’ve stepped up, took
care of you, but you got a grandmother
who’s not bold and her duty she forsook.”
“Wait–you’re claiming to be my grandmother?”
“Bright of eye, fair of face, you bear no trace
of me or your mother in your young face.”
Sarn stared at the old woman shocked by her words.
Orphaned at nine, he’d just had his brother
and seven years later, his son; her words
raised the possibility of other
relatives–aunts, uncles, cousins maybe…
His sixth sense punched her truth in his gut, made
real what had been only words and maybes.
“Tell me your name; I tried to lip read it
through seeing stones,” she held up a rock shot
with images–like one in his pocket.
“My name’s Sarn. This is Ran, short for…” Ran shot
a scowl that stopped Sarn from continuing.
Ran preferred his nickname to his full name,
which Sarn didn’t mind; he hadn’t chosen Ran’s name.
The story continues in May Angels Lead You In.
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