And it came to pass on Christmas Eve
That he was thinking of
The shepherds of the hard-bitten hills, who
East of their lovers
West of their friends,
Spent sacred days in ugly places
Working small cures for small tragedies.
Far from the temple and far from the book
Forgotten of the warmth and the table
The bed and the gentleness of women
The night is heavy, outside Jerusalem
But heavy to breaking
And inside was light and singing.
Suddenly were new people
Full of otherwordly tenderness
Alien joy from outside the universe
Saying new words with tongues of fire
It broke our hearts wide open
And we were afraid of Christmas.