in the space

the missing verses between Luke 2:6 and Luke 2:7

and in the space
between the full stop
and the capital letter
lies the untold story of
the birth of a baby

of the first moment she guessed it was starting
an unfamiliar pain
the rush of fluid
the cramping force
halting and hesitant
then fierce and determined

in the space between the full stop
and the capital letter
lies the moment she told him
it’s time
and he realised he’d never believed
that it was real

in the space between the full stop
and the capital letter
lies hours of screaming
terrifying
heart-stopping
blood-curdling
pain
till her fingers dig into the dirt
of the floor
and the wood
of the wall
and the skin
of his hand
and she wondered
he wondered
how she would
survive

in the space between the full stop
and the capital letter
lies his breathless anticipation
the worry when it all begins
that it will never end
that it will all go wrong
when it’s taking too long
and then it’s happening too fast
and then suddenly the desperation of the last final
push
and the rush
of the blood
and the fluid
and the baby
oh – the baby
slippery and sweet
and screaming
thank god

in the space between the full stop
and the capital letter
lies the bloodied body of the new born christ
a boy
and did they wonder at his eyelashes
and his tiny lips
and did they breathe with relief
that the God born from her womb
was normal
with real tears
and a heartbeat

and did they wish the space
between the full stop
and the capital letter
were longer
that the story we know
ended there
and that the world lost interest
at the end of one sentence
so the next wouldn’t have to begin…

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4 Responses to “in the space”

  1. Sarah says:

    fantastic – beyond that i’m speechless :o )

  2. Sarah says:

    can we use this in our Esther Project Sacred Story Event next Monday night?

  3. Cheryl says:

    please do – i wrote it to be spoken more than read.

    [and thanks!]

  4. Kel says:

    Cheryl, this is a wondrous piece of writing and storytelling

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