Tent Within a Tent

A man extended his arms forward

so the blanket over his head formed a tent.

Through the opening, cradling a favorite doll,

And a stuffed tiger, crawled the two-year old

in pigtails and pj’s.

New pj’s.

It was dark inside.

Her pupils dilated so she could see

a tiny space.  And grandpa.

Yet something wasn’t right.

She hurriedly left to return with

more of what was precious to her.

A blue horse.

Second favorite doll.

Pink princess brush.

Every item was shifted and tilted

Until they passed inspection.

It was quiet.  Still.  Holy.

Her excited breath the only sound.

Two sets of eyes met.

She whispered, “It’s great, isn’t it!”

A gray-bearded man smoothed his linen robe.

New linen robe.

White.  Blue.

Hemmed with pomegranates and bells.

Though he limped, he limped with dignity

Through burning, wilderness sand.

Clutching a bowl of blood.

Lambs’ blood.

He stooped and entered the tent within a tent.

It was dark inside.

He could smell a hint of lanolin

Mixed with the pungent scent of incense borne on

Whispy streams of smoke.

Something was amiss.

He hurriedly hobbled out, bells tinkling, to return

With more of what was dear to him.

Twelve stones.  Emerald.  Carbuncle.  Topaz and more.

It was still.  Quiet.  Holy.

He could hear his own breath.

With his eyes closed

He saw he was not alone.

He lingered long,

Then whispered, “It’s great, isn’t it!”

A priest.  A son.  Pierced hands.

Wounded feet and side.

Enveloped in a new robe.

White.  Blue.

Stepping where only angels tread

He stooped to enter the tent within a tent.

Left arm cradled the all costly bowl of blood.

Lambs’ blood.

No light needed.

It was Holy.  Still.  Quiet.

For a moment he waited, breathless,

Until he knew he was not alone.

Father and son embraced.

They lingered.

Father, he whispered,

“It’s great isn’t it!”