In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And John went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
 “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
  make straight the paths of the Lord.
Every valley shall be filled,
  and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
 and the crooked shall be made straight,
  and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”
        - Luke 3:1-6 

She set the flatware on the table,

ceramic dishes already in place.

The stemware, the linen napkins,

candles and flowers positioned, wine breathing.


She had already cleaned the baseboards

and dusted and swept down cobwebs.

She was too tired to do the windows

but she managed to vacuum and spot mop.


Company was coming, preparations were in order.

It had been so long she had let things go:

the floors, the windows, her hair,

even her mind seemed cluttered and grimed.


Was there anyway to get it all together?

Not the house we're talking about now

but herself, her shambling life,

her mess that no one could put right.


Was there company coming? Was there

One to accompany her on the way?

She: daily refining her life as if she'd

one day clean the windows and gaze beyond.


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