This is my last Christian poem, in honor of the season
THE PROPHECY OF SIMEON
Stooped on an ashen staff, a malarial beard
in a wheeling helix of wings, her prophet groped
the temple’s stonework, crab-like, a wandering liquid
jasper eye alight in the chiaroscuro. Hope
rattled his blind heart’s gourd. As sacriﬁce ﬂensed
from forked pomegranate, drizzling fat and entrails,
a breath of clove lifted the curtained incense
at its corner by a ﬁnger. The longed-for vision, unveiled,
was a radiant girl offering her weighted sleeves.
Angels fanned his ancient eyelids back.
Joy and lamentation rung his ribbed ogive,
plunging in its double sword: Passionweek, whose chink
of light unrolled an era like a road;
the Child, directing his age toward and away from God.