Two Children, Both Boys

(in keeping with the Visitation)

Saint John was a precocious child; a womb-
borne prophet, quickening as his Lord came by
—Mary bearing Jesus standing nigh—
Leaping up with hardly any room.

Two very different boys: the first was born
just after summer’s sun stopped in the north;
the other, as the sun stood south, borne forth
into a winter world cold and forlorn.

The barn is cold; the animals stand round,
and shepherds kneel, adoring what they’ve found.
There; listen! You can hear it if you try—
the newborn John, his first breath in a cry
—a prophet's cry of joy, and not of fear—
salutes his Lord from half-way round the year.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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