The Innkeeper's Daughter Tells Her Story (Poetry)

15th December 2017
The town was unusually crowded
for the census had brought people in
so business was good and my father
offered lodgings to strangers and kin

It was late with the door locked and bolted
we were packed in our beds snug and tight
when there came from below a soft knocking
and an odd sense of awe filled the night

For down in the echoing courtyard
a man with a lantern stood shy
and beside him a maid on a donkey
sitting patient beneath a cold sky

Well my father, his voice quite regretful
advised them he’d no room to spare
but mentioned we did have a stable —
they’d be welcome, of course, to sleep there

Very grateful for this little kindness
the couple then made their slow way
over the cattle-worn cobbles
to the stable sweet-smelling of hay

Once there in the comforting darkness
the maiden gave birth to a boy
for I heard a choir sing in the heavens
and those words spread their message of joy

So I crept down the street just to witness
and see for myself the event
while I knew it was something tremendous
I was baffled to what it all meant

So I hid at the back by a hay bale
and watched as the visitors came —
poor shepherds, three kings, scores of angels
beating wings and proclaiming His name

And heaped at the side of the manger
were gifts ranging simple to rare
the babe basking in adoration
while peace — perfect peace — stilled the air

The animals, too, had their moment
the donkey, the ox and the lamb
gazed on like their hearts sensed the wonder
as the glad bells of heaven all rang

There was never a vision so humble
and yet never before was a king
born into a scene of such glory
or pure joy that His coming would bring

Now I’m old and my eyes have grown cloudy
but my memory’s clear of that night
with the sounds and the smells in our stable
one great star overhead burning bright

So I gather my own children to me
tell the story I know to be true
for I was the innkeeper’s daughter
proud to witness God’s love shining through

Just a young girl crouched low in the shadows
feeling so truly blessed to be there
seeing all from the very beginning
and this story the gift I now share