We were like the Holy Family
So the chaplain said
The ward like Bethlehem’s stable
Two parents wrapt with their child
But the child was dead.
You reminded him somehow of Mary
The messiah spread across her
As our child lay in your arms now
Limp and dead.
What’s the line from Eliot
About seeing birth and seeing death
And thinking they were different?
In the silence life and death
Seemed only a breath apart.
The child in my mind’s eye manger
Wears a crown of thorns.