At the beginning were three, and three
at the end, thirty years or more after
the scene at the inn.
Three from afar, drawn by starlight,
bore precious perfumes and gold
to the site of a birth, a promise
of Paradise. Obedience to signs in a dream
to return a different way, to shield
the child from harm for a time.
Years after, three women of Galilee
walked at sunrise to a tomb,
bore spices and oils to tend the spent
body of their friend
amid the silence of the dead.
Imagine their fear.
The heavy stone out of place.
(They themselves had seen the seal.)
And inside, the voice, the face
as in a dream, the warning
that no body was there. The brutal
execution suddenly all too real.
Flight their only choice,
no paradise there.
The end, the beginning. So curious,
parallel mysteries, a riddle, shrouded
in myrrh and linen, carried
on the wings of a dove.