Overheard In The Caravan

Magi I by Della Conroy

I wrote this in 2008 and have posted it most years since.  What might have been the magi's conversation in the caravan, leaving Bethlehem to go "home by another way?"  (You may find it helpful to review the story of the Magi in Matthew's gospel.)


Overheard In The Caravan 

Myrrh, frankincense and gold -
that's what we left with.
Now we go home empty-handed.

            Empty saddlebags on the camels,
            hearts filled with questions…
                        Did we leave the presents
                        with the right king?

One king in a palace,
warm, fine and plush;
the other in a barn,
all muck and hay – and oh, the smell!

            But did we leave the gifts
            with the right king?
                        Oh, I think so!
                        Remember Herod’s eyes, envy-green?
                        But ah, the innocence of the child
                        who but cried and nursed and slept…

I think I saw him smile once!

            And clearly, his parents needed the help.

                        Oh, but no newborn’s parents 
                        would have turned down the gold!

Not to worry: they were honest folk…
You could see it in her face
and in the way he cared for her and for the child.

            They’ll save our gifts
            for when they need them
            and mark my words:
            they will need them…

                        But did we find the one we sought?
                        Was it his star?
                        What if we were wrong?

His star it was, indeed:
a star of mystery,
beyond the wisdom of us all.
We may not understand
but we know: 

it was his star…

            What next, then?
            What will we tell the folks at home
            of what we saw - and did not see?

                        And what will they think of us
                        when we tell of a manger throne
                        in a barn of a palace?

They’ll likely think us fools!
I wonder, still, myself
if we found anything or everything -
or maybe even more than all…

            A trip we won’t forget, that’s for sure,
            nor him we found
            nor those we met along the way…

                        And the angel in the dream,
                        with warning – just in time!

Now this way home,
another way…

            A new way now,
            the way of dreams…

                        So mind the star,
                        it’s still above…

But fading fast,
so keep the pace…


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