Mary Rohrer-Dann

Epiphany in the Digital Age

Sleep in, my husband says, and I slip back
into delicious drowse, half-waking later
to carillon bells playing a jaunty air.

What gift frolics on this Epiphany
Sunday air, so unlike the solemn rumble
of pipe organ, the dull dignity of the Wise?

I imagine those three travelers rocked
with an alien giddiness at the star’s
improbable promise, a ticklish hope

for an unsettling of the old order,
a pure laughter held deep in the belly
yet bound, too, with unease as when

we behold a child newly born,
our profound fear of all that delicate
promise promised yet again,

and we, astonished, trembling,
dare to believe, accept,
put on the yoke of care.

A faint vibration. These buoyant bells,
this happy beat, come not from the window
cracked to icy air, but my phone, tucked

beneath my pillow, playing unbidden
(as it sometimes mysteriously does)
a musical slideshow of its own choosing.

I hit some button. The music stops.
And it’s just me in bed delaying
another grey January day.

But the tune rouses, plays on in my head,
and I give thanks for small miracles
of unexpectedness, for a new day

given yet again.


Mary Rohrer-Dann is author of Accidents of Being: Poems from a Philadelphia Neighborhood (forthcoming from Kelsay Books, 2023); Taking the Long Way Home (Kelsay Books, 2021); and La Scaffetta: Poems from the Foundling Drawer. Her work also appears in Flash Boulevard, Clackamas Review, Indiana Review, Comstock Review, Orca, Philadelphia Stories, Panoply, and elsewhere. A “graduated” educator, she paints, hikes, and works with several nonprofits in central PA. She is past writing a sexy bio.