--> Hungry Hill Writing

John Baylis Post

The magi would have bought their gifts on Amazon,
if their Babylonian credit card hadn’t been maxed out,
if the stable with a manger had a usable postcode,
if they could convert sheqels to sestercii without commission,
if they could reconcile decimals to a base sixty-four,
if they made the right assessment of Roman duty,
(assuming there was duty on gold, but what about myrrh?);
and would the courier leave them with the shepherds?
and could illiterate shepherds sign for the gold anyway?
and was there an ‘if out, leave at’ option for Judaea
if the package came from outside the empire?
Would Nazareth count as a forwarding address?
And what if the incense came from Amazon Marketplace
from a merchant who wouldn’t giftwrap, or charged extra?
And would Mary want all those virtual visitations
from Amazon angels with offers on magic babies,
or free trips to Egypt by Ryanair donkey
(no baggage allowance for the babe-in-arms)?
Even wise men couldn’t navigate the website;
on the whole it was quicker to journey across the desert
and deliver in person. They gave the stable no stars
on Trip Advisor. But at least they met Herod.