The Prison Nativity

Searchlights halo a triptych of features,
plywood propped to show a depth of substance.
Perspectives distort gentle barn creatures,
the acrylic lasting as any sentence.
Here the Messiah is born before the wall,
and would be swaddling in stencilled denim--
Joseph genuflects by a three-cot stall--
easier to flatten than to place him
where the icicles aren't the only cage,
and Xmas totters in a dented tray.
Chicken pieces and pudding become potage,
while the Saviour ascends above the highway,
where the guards hide under rubberized hoods,
searching the Magi for myrrh and metal goods....

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