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The stable door is open. Come inside.
The air is warm, pungent with breath of beasts.
No furniture. Hay bales. Some matted straw.
The trough, you see, is occupied by one
who draws all attention to himself,
as infants must. He wriggles a tiny fist
out of the swaddle. His mother takes him up,
brings him to breast. Famished, he latches on.

Still outside in the cold? What’s keeping you?
I know: the news, the headlines of outrage.
Assessment. Ads. Just one more text to send.
Gigabytes of distraction and demand.
To step inside, you’ll have to leave behind
your profile, your identity. The door,
in truth, is open just a needle’s eye,
but it’s enough. Come empty and be fed.


Jennifer Davis Michael is professor and chair of English at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Her poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Think, The Windhover, and Mezzo Cammin, among others. Her chapbook, Let Me Let Go, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She has also published a book of criticism, Blake and the City (Bucknell, 2006). Her website is

© 2019, Jennifer Davis Michael

2 comments on “The Stable Door, by Jennifer Davis Michael

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