Tell me quiet and steadfast Joseph
Does your sturdy heart quake?
On this night forlorn
when there’s no shelter to be found
From thunder of the bombs
In Maiduguri. And Aleppo. And Donetsk
Tell me Joseph, does your heart quake?
Tell me meek and gentle Mary
While you hold your newborn son
Do you see him snatched away
In Chibok. In Gaza. In Kobane.
Do you fear your visitors bearing more
than Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh
From Freetown. And Conakry. And Monrovia
Tell me Mary, does your mother’s heart break?
Little baby Jesus fast asleep
do the swaddling linens hold you safe
From the hunger and the cold and religion’s bitter gall
In Mubi. And Sydney. And Baghdad
Can the cocoon be a shield
From the toxic racism
In Ferguson. And New York. And London
tell me Baby Jesus. Do you feel the pain
While in Herod’s house majestic
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