on a drunken teenage impulse
they decided to attend midnight mass,
none of the three Catholic,
two Protestants and a Jew.
Potawatomi Rapids a small town,
Saint John’s fixed in their minds
at the corner of Cass and Calhoun,
how could they ever miss it,
even in a Michigan blizzard,
the snow coming down now
like ripped feather pillows shaken,
wind a cutting knife, ice
stinging insect bites blinding eyes.
As a child, Owen’s mother laughed
when he asked her the location of Orientàr.
Where the three kings came from, he explained.
We three kings of Orientàr
bearing gifts we travel so far.
Now they wandered through slush,
shoes sodden as washcloths,
long after the toll of midnight,
following yonder star.
Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives, and edits The Potomac, an online literary journal – http://thepotomacjournal.com . His photographs, poetry and fiction have appeared in many literary journals. His latest book is a collection of poems called Mata Hari: Eye of the Day (Apprentice House, Loyola University), and another poetry collection, American Zeitgeist, is forthcoming from Apprentice House.