The sunset ignites with pink, orange, & purple hues once again.
I notice the leaves – they’re dancing – inviting me to move, to play.
Tears transition from markers of grief to cascades of gratitude.
Laughter, it bubbles foreignly, a new soundtrack to mark my days.
Before – not too long before – a near-permanent night descended.
Grief mummified in my gut as the hours stretched & morphed into years.
The isolation of loss, my scarlet letter, the root of lonely despair.
Rare moments of resilience sprinkled atop a restless, anxious existence.
Therapy: a place where pain is invited, against all instinct, to dwell.
Nausea: a reminder of matters still unsettled in my mind, body, spirit.
Conflict: a long-resisted avenue required for rebuilding trust, connection.
Days will soon orbit around his rosy cheeks & sleepy eyes.
Endorphins will release in the presence of baby cuddles, coos, crinkles.
Four months is all, ’til I will kiss ten curling fingers and ten wiggling toes.
Many faces will give way to goofiness, hoping to coax the first smile.
Before, I will push and scream, I will breathe & curse.
Fears of c-section, ripping, every odd fluke of childbirth to taunt my mind.
Resolute strength will steadily ebb into desperate pleas for relief.
This body will stretch & moan to make room for new life.
Labor: the pangs declaring the arrival of a treasured gift.
Delivery: the culmination of hard-earned preparation, peaking in pain.
Wails: the baby greeting his big, wild world for the very first time.
Woolly sheep & unbathed shepherd gently approach a feeding trough.
Three kings deliver the oddest of baby gifts: gold, frankincense, & myrrh.
Cows, horses, & donkeys lay about, completing this discordant scene.
A blinding star is affixed above, unable to mask the joy over light’s arrival.
Before, two parents fled the mass genocide of innocent baby boys.
A mother in labor scrambled for a room – any room – to deliver a son.
Her screams soon erupted, exploding from within a rugged pile of hay.
A smelly, unclean barn became the host for welcoming our Emmanuel.
Migration: the timing the Savior chose for making his earth-side entrance.
Outcast: the state of his people when he revealed his delicate face.
Manger: the scratchy bed to cradle a divine babe for the very first time.
*This poem was originally published in issue 02 of Wild Honey, Rylie’s semi-regular newsletter. To get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox, you can sign up here.
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