“Christmas Eve” by Inna Lisnianskaya (trans. Rowan Williams)

by Kim on December 24, 2011

Who says we’ve got to suffer
with the thorn’s splinters gouging,
when there is such a star, and such
a scent, roses and donkeys?

Who makes the stars shine so,
glowing like roses in the dawn?
Who warms the frosty night to be
a sable fur round the king’s shoulders?

Here in the stable, no befores and afters:
just the heart’s wild excess and the wisps of straw.
What in the end binds us to one another? The cross?
No. The child’s birthcord.

From Rowan Williams, Headwaters (Oxford: The Perpetua Press, 2008), pp. 64-65.

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