The night when she first gave birth
Had been cold. But in later years
She quite forgot
The frost in the dingy beams and the smoking stove
And the spasms of the afterbirth towards morning.
But above all she forgot the bitter shame
Common among the poor
Of having no privacy.
That was the main reason
Why in later years it became a holiday for all
To take part in.
The shepherds’ coarse chatter fell silent.
Later they turned into the Kings of the story.
The wind, which was very cold
Turned into the singing of angels.
Of the hole in the roof that let in the frost nothing remained
But the star that peered through it.
All this was due to the vision of her son, who was easy
Fond of singing
Surrounded himself with poor folk
And was in the habit of mixing with kings
And of seeing a star above his head at night-time.
— Bertolt Brecht
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian.