Catholic Poetry Room
This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by James Dewey.

“Can a woman forget her sucking child…?” Isaiah 49:15

Mary eyed her little survivor tightly
as he nursed and teethed, then crawl-step-jumping
taught Egyptian games to Nazareth boys

Joseph noticed his ears
how they filled like cups
how they thrilled at the sounds of the synagogue
sifting words that fell from dry scrolls
temple doctors muttered
shaking their heads
he speaks like a man

astonishing man!
mobs flocked to crossroads, pushing
their children forward, pleading:

he swooped them up in sweaty arms
put calloused hands in their greasy hair
and blessed each bleating one

mothers from Bethlehem listened intently
to thirty-three-year-old Innocence
in each other’s nodding ears they whispered
that’s how old our babies would have been
our babies would have been
that’s how old
our babes
our little lambs

Originally published in Soujourners.

James Dewey’s poetry has appeared in Irreantum, inscape, Perspectives, Reformed Journal, and Off the Coast. Originally from Boise, Idaho, James currently lives in Bogotá, Colombia.

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