Alternative Telling

At the inn,
Joseph and Mary
held white handkerchiefs
over their noses,
thus insulted
the crowded room
of farmers
and laborers.

I have a memory
of standing
with a clay pot
in my hand
and drinking
Egyptian beer,
knowing I was
bodily unclean
with sweat and dust
from a long day
shaping stone.

How silent the room became
as all eyes turned
to the newcomers.
We listened
as the innkeeper
sent them to the manger
to sleep with the animals
even though
there would be room enough
for the couple inside,
once we workers headed
for our homes.

Where were
the lord’s angels
with their trumpets
to blow down
the walls created
by our cold shoulders
while the innkeeper
cleared away empties
and tabulated
Ps & Qs?

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

2 thoughts on “Alternative Telling

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