At a limestone wall a Hebrew and two sons
hewed and shoveled out livestock space
a generation after first Hanukkah.
During his last winter, his son jammed
timber and nailed stalls for their migrations.
His great-great grandson and boy camped
with an ass, goats and sheep below roosting pigeons.
He grimaced, nailing a board—his father
among 2,000 Hebrews spiked to gibbets
in one day, a generation ago.
This night a couple begged for space in the stall.
Starlight unveiled her swollen belly.
The couple collapsed on straw, dung, droppings.
His dreams were rocked with groans.
Finally, their baby cried with him.
Wiping his eyes, he saw his boy’s waking eyes—
pale hazel dots staring outward. He kissed his cheek.
He rose, dragged an empty feeding trough to the couple
and folded his mantle inside it.
What was this glimmering shaft outside,
aiming at the cave’s maw?