Birthday Presents


by Garry Kilworth



I ponder on what became

of the gold given to the infant godchild

at his birth.

The frankincense and myrrh of course

has long since evaporated.

But gold is gold,

solid, lasting, heavy with value.

Perhaps it made an Episcopal mitre,

altar chalice, thurible chain, sunshaped monstrance?

No, too contrived.

Or - listen - a christening gift,

for one who later became a pope?

Much too contrived.

Was it sliced into coin, or

crafted into frivolous jewellery?

Not inspiring enough.

Is there - oh could there be - a golden ring?

A wondrous ring which brings the wearer immunity

against disease - and even death?

What hope to treasure-seekers and lovers

of fantastic tales!


My final theory is a simpler view:

the boychild lobbed this lump of Mammon’s ore,

somewhere irretrievable -

into the dark-green deeps

or down some soundless chasm -

  flung it in a state of mild guilt

the way of most unwanted birthday gifts:

hideous neckties, plaid socks,

revolving pencils -

things without soul.


 ©2007 Garry Kilworth

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