Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent

I recently saw an icon of the Visitation (the meeting between a pregnant Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth) which I absolutely loved; it inspired this poem, told from the point of view of Elizabeth.



Visitation

I was months into the heaviness
Of child-carrying,
swaybacked and swollen, and my husband
Mute as an old stone—
So that I heard it all the louder when Miriam’s shout
Reached me from the dust-choked road outside.
I raced out to see her standing there,
Glowing with sweat, her body just beginning
To take on a mother’s curves beneath her robes.
And then the child that nestled sweet
Beneath my heart
Leapt—not a simple turning, not a kick,
But jumped as if some new and secret joy
Had set him dancing: and it was then I knew—
Knew who it was she bore within herself.
Later some would call it solemn, grand; but truthfully,
We laughed as we embraced: breast to breast,
Cheek to smiling cheek,
And I know that both our sons
were laughing too,
in that way of old friends meeting
after years,
when all time seems as nothing,
and the space
between lives collapses
into grace. 
-AG

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