Feast of Epiphany


In the straw burrow farm mice.
Get a little closer and you’ll see
Nits in baby Jesus’s hair, lice,
And a house snake in the olive tree.

There’s beer on the breath of the three
Sage men sitting under the olive tree,
Playing games of cribbage,
Ushering in a new age.

The pieces are swaddled in wool.
Mary’s breast-feeding the baby Jesus.
Joseph takes out his tools
To build a bed before the night freezes.

Mary wipes Joseph’s brow,
The wise men questioning how,
Talking to Joseph about what he did,
And what in the end might be in the crib.

From an East Side Bus

The lurching bus crowds forward,
dogs away from the curb broken under
the plum tree overarching the shelter.

The bus thrashes on, wobbling
in a fit of leaf blowing, phlegmatic coughing.
The young, motley couple

(we see them every day lately),
their rusted stroller full
of plastic blankets,

empty bottles, and crushed cans,
sleeps on the bench in the bus shelter
covered with plums and damp purple leaves.

“Epiphany” appeared in Rocinante, Spring 2009, Vol. 8

The two poems for Epiphany were previously posted at the Toads on December 25, 2011.

2018 Christmas card by my sister Barbara.


  1. New life falls into all sorts of places.
    I was lucky giving birth to a little being on epiphany day, not in a stable nor in a bus shelter, but in a 17th century Somerset cottage, with walls so thick you could bed down in the window sills. The midwife arrived in a police four wheeler climbing up steep roads coated with ice and snow. From my bed I looked out over white fields and imagined three wise ones with frosted beards leading their camels over the hill.
    So the epiphany day helps reminding me of the revelation my snow baby brought along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Beautiful Ashen. Thanks for sharing. What an epiphany! It’s like a scene from Course of Mirrors, where the child is born and suddenly it is the 17th century.


  2. btcuria says:

    Love your epiphany

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thx for the card! Happy Epiphany!


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