Indrѐ Valantinaitѐ - NATIVITY SCENE

The Nativity scene sheep are eternal
like God.

I count them all.
Not one is broken.

I am 4, 14, 24.
Each year I pause
before the quaint composition of the Nativity.

After the holiday, the cleaning woman
scrupulously gathers the plaster statues
and packs the sacred dolls reverentially into a box.

So too, the barn animals, the moss,
the foil star, the electric fountain which was bought last year…

Our God is born an infant ever year,
and has no time to grow up –

He arrives again as a newborn
in the cardboard manger.

How fragile is the almighty.

I drop a coin into the box and light a candle
For my former fiancé
born on the same day as God.
Each Christmas he got only one gift
instead of two.

His faded first grade photo
is still in my wallet.

A mother who has never given birth.

Translated by Ada Valaitis