Two Roman soldiers stand in Bethlehem,
half-hidden in the shadows as, not far
from where they leer, and unaware of them,
a virgin mother labors in a barn.
In just a few short years, these streets will run
with babies’ blood; these soldiers’ hands will hew
the limbs of weeping Rachel’s thousand sons.
Tonight, though, Herod’s men stand by while through
the dark there dawns an unforeseen shining
of aural light, a glorious chorus
that sings the coming of the crowning King.
They cannot know this babe is born for us
and that, despite the worst of Herod’s plans,
this baby’s blood can cleanse their bloodstained hands.
© 2020 Josh Bishop