After the Meltdown

by Debra Herlocker

Jack Herlocker


“Madonna and Child” — soapstone, ivory (walrus tusk), and fur. We picked this up on our Alaska trip in 2022. My wife is a sucker for madonna and child artwork, and I’m a sucker for making my wife happy.

After the meltdown
There was peace

I assure you my meltdown was justified.
My fiancée returned from visiting her cousin…
Three months pregnant

She’s a wonderful girl
I’m a God-fearing man
How could she?

I railed against her
I railed against God
I railed against the unfairness of it all

Then, in my dream,
An angel appeared
I railed against the angel

“Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”
How could I?
“She conceived by the Holy Spirit…”

“You will name the child Jesus.”
I don’t even get to name my wife’s son?

But when I woke up,
When the meltdown was over,
There was peace

I took Mary as my wife
And we wait, in peace,
For the baby to be born.

Deb is on the Advent Planning Team for our church this year. The team decided that each week of Advent would have a poem appropriate to the scripture for that Sunday, and Deb got Week 2, when Joseph got gut-punched by finding out Mary was pregnant. So Deb went Googling for appropriate poems, but found only ones that sucked (she used a more ladylike term).

So she wrote one herself. See above.

I pointed out that Joseph did not actually marry Mary before Jesus was born, and that Jesus was born a bastard; Deb reminded me that this is why I work as webmaster and on the AV Team, not any planning teams, and why I am never invited to speak at Sunday School.



Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.