Poem: three kings

My friend Tony has published ten poems in the first seven days of 2012. I’m falling behind. So I’m taking his challenge to write more poetry. Like, right now.

Melchior and Gaspar are practical:
gold and frankincense are gifts for the future.
Of Balthazar’s gift, they’re more critical:
myrrh washes corpses, cleans doctor’s suture,
preserves Osiris. A magician’s gift
ought to terrify first, then bring delight.
This present’s label bears riskier drift:
A painful end, a tomb, and endless night.
Yet stars do not fall. In due time they set,
to wait their turn in Sun’s too-bright shadow.
The stars burn at all times, though we forget
When lounging at noon in summer meadow.
Bathazar knows eternity is now,
and to that deep truth even gods must bow.

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