December 2007 - Vol. 14

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico
Advent Overture

Might Gabriel have gasped in wonder
at the task entrusted him:
To be herald
of God's generosity and deed
that would clothe all majesty in humility!

Did he quail
to bring such request from eternal divinity
to an earthly child's mortality?

Did he hesitate
at the sight of the fragile virginity before him,
fearing whether this frail womb could bear God's weight
and contain infinity within its walls?

Then resolutely
Gabriel's greeting broke upon Mary,
plowing furrows
in the fertile silence of her soul
so God's word might be planted there
like seed in a readied field.

Did the angel tremble then
while waiting this child's answer,
anxious that she not refuse?

And then she gave consent.
The seed was sown,
the Word conceived.
God found home upon the earth
and would receive a mother's warm embrace.

Perhaps Gabriel sighed in relief with task accomplished
and the angel-hosts of heaven sang their joy at her reply
(and already hide their faces in reverence at his flesh
soon to lie naked against the raw wood of the manger and the cross).

Then silence folded in again
around the virgin child
as Gabriel took leave of her.
But she was not alone,
for with her fiat Mary's heart
had begun to beat in unison (and full accord)
with the One now growing in her womb.

Copyright (c) 2003 by Jeanne Kun
Used with permission of the author.

> next poem: The Word Made Flesh
(c) copyright 2007  The Sword of the Spirit
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