And Laid Him in a Manger… – a poem by Tony Lucas

Some want of clinical hygiene, perhaps,
but then birth always is a messy business – 
blood and tears, tissue, pain and sweat.  
To add in dung and straw, earth floors 
and darkness, only amplifies the context 
out of which this frailest hope is born.
However faltering a candle in the gloom
it will attract unlikely visitors.   Expect
the fluttering wings, or steamy breath,
intruding stares, the timid holding off;
all wondering why they should feel moved,
so deeply by another mouth to feed.
It’s one more head to count, yet such our hunger 
for some chance of change – however long 
the odds, how faint a promise, or how often 
hope gets snuffed out, overwhelmed with troubles, 
threatening dark, that yearning still persists – 
the slightest crack for new light to seep through. 

Tony Lucas has lived and worked in inner South London for many years.   Hs work has been published both in the UK and America, with the most recent collection of his work, Unsettled Accounts, issued by Stairwell Books in 2015.

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