(Poem) La Befana by Mary Saracino

With eyes the color of mortal sin

a heart as magical as the moon

she spends her days sweeping

and baking

mending and tending

preparing her home for love

and for hope.

Some say the Magi stopped at her doorstep

inquiring about Bethlehem;

they wanted to visit a special child,

they asked Befana to show them the way,

travel with them; but she declined.

Wiping tears from her cheeks

she longed to cradle her own dead children

long ago taken from her arms.

The Magi left, but Befana’s sorrow did not;

she filled a sack with toys

and cookies, bread and sweets

to soothe the soul and sustain the body,

she straddled her broomstick,

flew from house to house,

leaving presents on darkened doorsteps,

seeking the Divine in every child,

not one, particular, Savior born in

a manger or a cave,

but all the girls, all the boys

whose laughter and joy

save the whole, wide, round

world from despair.

La Befana dolls on their broomsticks Wikipedia commons
La Befana dolls on their broomsticks
Wikipedia commons

Note: In Italian folklore, La Befana is the kind, old woman with magical powers who brings gifts to the children of Italy on January 5th, the eve of the Epiphany.

Read Meet Mago Contributor, Mary Saracino.