Roy Herndon Smith
When Jesus turned six,
we were back in Nazareth
after the horrors
of Bethlehem and
exile, six years of terror
that they would take him,
of never letting
him out of my sight, now I
had to let him go.
“Now we are six,” I held him tight;
six years before that dawn, we’d fled,
through the night, from the shrieking light.
Hiding in the fields, in the night,
twenty long shrieks; the fires were red.
“Now we are six.” I held him tight
through the rustling grain, through dawn’s bright
clamor. The afternoon sun led
to the night, to the shrieking light.
We ran to hide in Egypt’s might.
We returned when Herod was dead.
“Now we are six,” I held him tight.
But still I hid, stayed out of sight,
twenty deaths followed me to bed
each long night, in the shrieking light.
“It’s time to learn, to give up flight,
to go to school,” my husband pled.
“Now that he’s six.” I held him tight.
in the night, in the shrieking light.