A King of God, poetry written by Cathy Miller at Spillwords.com
Birmingham Museums Trust

A King of God

A King of God

written by: Cathy Miller


What can I give him?
Poor as I am
If I were a shepherd
I would give a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part
But what I can I give him
Give him my heart
— Christina Rossetti

December mornings
the barn is cold
not much glory resides here
our winter shaggy cows
low in the stalls
black ice cracks beneath
heavy hooves and their
breath steams as they
wait for milking

after chores we pile into
the car at first light
head thirty miles to First Baptist
for early Christmas service—
in all these years what with milking
and feeding the stock
he never comes with us
hard as flint she says

our preacher shares again
that reading from Luke’s
story of shepherds and angels
abiding in the fields
and we sing of three kings
who brought gifts of richest treasure
magi led by a star
to adore a baby
born in a barn


December evenings
no matter this holiday
there are chores after supper
I haul water for the troughs
bed the chickens
and after mucking the stalls
I find the cookies

dozens of Christmas cookies
he’d mixed in the silage
in the hog pen
bells and stars with white royal icing
and the tiny silver balls so hard they
like to crack your teeth—

outside I find more crumbs
scattered for our rooster—
I think about him
every morning
on that milking stool
bitter cold finding
each crack while he rubs
small calming circles
in warm flanks

hard as flint she says
but flint also sparks—
Christmas night
the dark is cold
not much glory resides here
but as the evening star
rises behind the river
I see the old barn
shine with holiness

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