The Donkey Braying in the Manger of the Lord or How the Jerusalem Donkey Got Its Mark

I am a prideful, stubborn, stiff-necked beast

unbroken, redeemed by lamb sacrifice,

who took the lash three times yet stayed unmoved,

seeing the sin before the sinner until

Balaam could confess to the Lord’s Angel

blocking his path in that narrowing space.

Thirty-five years yon I will bear you to

beyond the wide gates of Jerusalem

exultations, fronds, cloaks, hallelujahs

obscuring the still narrow door to you

truly proudly proclaiming beyond David’s claim

that you are the son after God’s own heart.

Before I bore Mary to Bethlehem,

plowed the field when the steady oxen fell;

carried bread to market, to the temple steps;

doing kind, good, faithful, trodding work in

preparation to bear heaven’s king so

no man near dare covet me from your side.

“Pray, little one”, you said. “Be at peace, now.”

when I sensed a prophecy of your trial,

your scourging, your crucifixion soon near.

I begged you, “Please, let me carry your cross,

at least to the top of yon horrid hill.”

“You taught well. Micron, I can bear it now.”

Seven days yon, I followed behind you,

turning my head away when the nails pierced,

braying a thunderclap that pierced forever

going back to Adam, forward to the end,

until your shadow finished passed the clouds

the sun revealing your cross on my back.

Advertisements