peace does not always come in the shape of a baby
in a season that abounds with fertile miracles
pray peace for those for whom every breathless, wondrous mention
of babies born
will bring only unspeakable pain.
pray peace for the Elizabeths who will not get pregnant,
for whom no miracle will occur, at any age
who know themselves only as cursed.
pray peace for the Marys who are pregnant and who do not want to be
for whom every movement inside is a reminder of fear and despair.
pray peace for the Marys whose partners say ‘no’.
pray peace for the Rachels whose babies have died
and whose cries will go unheard
in the clamour of christmas bells and carols.
and pray peace for the unnamed women
whose stories are not spoken out loud in the bible
the women who ended pregnancies
the women who miscarried
the women who will never have the chance to have children
pray peace for the women for whom this Christmas story is only a reminder
of the inadequacy
and the guilt,
they feel every month.
peace does not always come in the shape of a baby.