A place around the manger — Ana Gobledale, UK

Who am I?
The mother, a vessel for someone else’s plan?
The father, not the father, standing sentinel?
A shepherd, dirty and bedraggled, a loner from the veld?
A magi, wise and discerning, hoping in star-studded messages?
An angel, iridescent, illuminating and terrifying?
A donkey, nuzzling the manger, hungrily searching for hay?
A lamb, bleating, frightened by the commotion?
Where am I in this nativity tableau?
Is there a place for me around the manger?
Do I even want to be here?
Frozen in time
Sentimentalised on the mantle and displayed in shop windows
Re-enacted with dusty costumes and sullen faces
Petrified symbols or beloved catalysts into the story of Emmanuel?
Emmanuel, then, there?
Or here, now?
Let it be here. Let it be now.