Column 37

The number of ‘twelfth night’ poems must be fairly limited, but here’s my contribution to the genre. It was published in my collection The Anatomy of a Whale (The Onslaught Press).


Gifts of the Magi

Mary was all for burying the gold, saving it
for the rainy day she knew would come.
He said, why not live a little it’s not everyday
you celebrate the arrival of your first born?
Why not let your hair down for once?

The wrapped the frankincense in spare strips
of swaddling and some of the cleaner straw
and managed to take it all the way home
without incident. Him full of the spirit
and forgetting ‘his troubles’ is what did for it.

The myrrh was different, they agreed it should
be kept safe, though touch wood, they’d never
need it. For a time it sat on the mantelpiece
but it was put away when himself could reach it.
Mary never found out he sold it on the quiet.