“Tell them I feel at home,” my youngest says, when a friend asks how we
are. We have moved again, his third home, if you don’t count time in
utero, fifth for my eldest, counting the orphanage. They are adjusting
well. It is Christmas, and I finally found the creche, a crumbling stable my
dad built filled with plastic figures, in a box at the bottom of a closet.
Baby Jesus and friends were tossed in with a rainbow of wrapping paper
and ribbons, protection for the move. One of the wise men is missing,
there are two bagpipers, and I suspect Joseph is really a shepherd. To be
honest, baby Jesus is gigantic, because he was lost four houses ago, when
the eldest took to playing with him, and I couldn’t find another the right
size. Poor Mary. They were always on the move, too, led by dreams to one
city after another. He said something, once, about not having anyplace to
call home. Is that what I will leave my sons? I go outside, past the naked
arms of maple and oak, through the gap in the fence and lift my head,
just as I did as a girl, still delighted by stars and the great expanse of sky.
– Michelle M. Hargrave, 2013