Beyond a lintel of cold marble, breathing,
Who are these figures on the other side,
Their golden flesh emerging from the dark?
Ages and stages of our passing life,
Con-centred on the mystery of birth?
The Virgin, the Wise-Woman, Mother, Father,
Lover, Brother, Magus, gathered here
And a little child to lead them…
Or is this Child the parent of them all?
Once-woven in the womb, now wrapped in bands,
White linen for the grave, linen for swaddling,
Through which our holy flesh already shines…
Does she receive Him from the hands of Wisdom,
Or pass Him softly to the hands of Death?