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Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Silent Seers
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Today Barrie Shepherd of Scarborough asks us to consider the forgotten witnesses of the Christmas scene at the holy manger.
The Silent Seers by J. Barrie Sheperd
Of all the witnesses around that holy manger perhaps it was the animals who saw best what lay ahead, for they had paced the aching roads slept in the wet and hungry fields known the sharp sting of sticks and thorns and curses endured the constant bruise of burdens not their own, the tendency of men to use and then discard rather than meet and pay the debt of gratitude. For them the future also held the knacker’s rope, the flayer’s blade, the tearing of their bodies for the sparing of a race. In the shadows of that stable might it be his warmest welcome lay within their quiet comprehending gaze?
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 J.Barrie Shepherd. Reprinted from Between Mirage and Miracle, Wipf and Stock Press, 2002, by permission of the publisher. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at email@example.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.