(Richard Bell/Unsplash)


        What birthday could be stranger?
“Before Abraham was, I AM,”
         born into mortal danger—
the wise man, shepherd, star, and lamb,
         lying in a manger.

         The scene is so absurd!
Bright troops announce the news with joy:
         the first and final Word
is born, a wordless baby boy—
         the lowly ones have heard.

         They leave their sheep behind
to see the king held by his mother.
         Weak and nearly blind,
He comes to be our older brother—
         to keep and seek and find.

         This child is born to meet
us in our wandering—to be
         the rock that’s struck, the sweet
spring that flows, the mystery
         of daily bread to eat.

         He comes to be the snake
held up and stretched out on a rod,
         to heal our wounds, to take
our curse—this little baby God,
         breastfeeding, half awake.

         He comes to bring a sword,
and to be pierced—to pay the wages
         we could not afford.
Behold, the rocking rock of ages,
         the shushed and swaddled Lord!

Steven Searcy’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, the North American Anglican, Ekstasis magazine, and Pulsebeat Poetry Journal, among others. He lives with his wife and four sons in Atlanta, Georgia, where he works as an engineer in the field of fiber-optic telecommunications.

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Published in the January 2024 issue: View Contents
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