Advent Poetry Series: "The Lord is With Thee"

The Lord is With Thee 

from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1

They hail me Mary, full of grace. They bless me: brave, obedient—holy. What would you have said to the twelve-foot, light-soaked man, a gold flecked tower whose honey lips spoke your name? I said Yes. Then ran, traveled days, silent, hungry, purging in the grass, to my cousin’s. I knew nowhere else to go.

I found Elizabeth, impossibly, full with child. She, fifty and bare, as pregnant as I, thirteen, unknown. We, an absurd pair. Did I hope she would recognize my angel tale, believe for me what I hardly could? The Lord is with thee, she said. Her baby soared inside.

Her face was vague to my memory. What I recalled was her voice: in candlelight, she once tucked me under wool with my sisters, sang us to sleep with poems of Yahweh. How easily she spoke of God, as if he were a neighbor, a fish monger on the street.

Blessed art thou among women. Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. For three months she hid me from rumors, from my angry betrothed. I took walks. I threw up. I ate. Robes can only hide so much.

Then I stood beside the midwife, water basin in hand while my cousin squatted and screamed. I knew what my Yes meant this body must do and wept for myself, for this child of God given to my clumsy care.

Who am I? I once said to Elizabeth after dinner, beside our fire. I am small and weak in faith. She placed her palm on my cheek, whispered, You’re God’s.

 

© Micha Boyett. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or post without attribution. If you or your church would like access to these poems for worship, they are available at the .
This is from a series of five Advent poems I wrote for  in Seattle. See the first poem . 
Image Credit: Unknown Artist, , 6th Century (St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai, Egypt)

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