This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Laurie Klein.                                                                                                               


Perhaps rolled in papyrus
or raw silk
the jeweled boxes arrive as small thuds.
Gifts imprint the dirt floor.
Were the magi
quiescent?—a hint of Quaker,
a touch of Zen. Perhaps there was
nothing verbal to treasure
or replay later,
save those eloquent exhalations,
the creak of joints
(camels’ and kings’),
the serial tick of straw.

For the wordless patience of
plastic wise men
enrobed in blue and mauve,
en route, step-by-step,
to our family crèche
(the wise guys I drop-kicked
downstairs, every year,
behind Mom’s back),
I atone . . . now,
as the star comes for me.

First published in Books & Culture

Laurie Klein is the author of the poetry collection Where the Sky Opens (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade), and an award-winning chapbook, Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. A past recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred, Klein has also been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in the Inland Northwest.


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About the Author

Jeffrey Essmann, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.

Jeffrey Essmann is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Jeffrey is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Not Taken. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.

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