Within this ancient frame
I have been carrying a burning hope.
It has been a privilege
to live in this house of prayer
surrounded by generations of the faithful,
and though I have tried to underplay
and quell my own desires
the flame of this hope has persisted –
that after all these days,
all these years,
of piety and devout living
I might be granted a small blessing
by the God of all.
Glory to God, creator of the Earth!
Today I have seen the child
who is promised by the prophets.
Today I have looked into the eyes
of the one who will bring our redemption.
All that I am is full of the glory of God,
this ancient frame is ablaze with hope and joy.
A lifetime of kneeling on these
cold stones and choking on
black lamp smoke
three billion heartbeats of
waiting in hope and despair,
praying aloud out of habit and faith
the everyday shuffling and nodding,
the silly certainty that it all means life,
the dream sure as hunger and strong as grief
then on this countless day out of
darkness comes a girl with her ordinary
miracle, an armful of everything
and the rising and falling begins again
and the dark lifts and descends
him carried to the breaking apart
me, last lamp lit, praying done,
carried into the velvet
dark listening for the bird-call
of the great dawn.