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Spirit Story

Back door

By Winston Lindsay

No lamb

No gift

Curiosity’s really all I bring

I stumble in the dark

And it’s so dark

No moon and not a star anywhere

I remember a back entrance

Not a door

Not much more than a gate
to keep marauding livestock out

Nothing against cold

And it’s so cold

A moment and I’m in

But it’s dark and there’s no manger

They said look for a manger

A pile of hay with a blanket spread

A man and girl curled together

She hugs a small bundle beneath her cloak

A baby I suppose but I can’t be sure

Beyond them the big door creaks

Other shepherds slip in

And I think I hear a lamb

In the dark and quiet

I inhale pungent air

Heavy with the breath of cattle

In remote pens

One still moment then

I slip out

A cold mist presses

But at the horizon

A single star

A few careful steps then

I run the familiar path

Past the inn

Back to the hill

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