The Lord is With Thee

Each day this week, I’ll be sharing from a series of five Advent poems I wrote for John Knox Presbyterian Church in Seattle. I hope they will bless you as you prepare for the coming of Christmas.

 

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 vendor 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 Hohorst, 2010. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or post without attribution.

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Micha, I am so enjoying these poems and wait everyday to see what you will write about next. Thank you for so freely sharing your art.

  2. Thank you Sarah for the encouragement. I’m always so grateful that you read this blog, friend. Love!

  3. Sam says:

    Micha, I just love this one. I love thinking about the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary, and I have always loved that Jesus and John were cousins. Mary must have yearned and taken comfort in Elizabeth’s safe house and wisdom.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Christ, I imagine her to be like me, a sincere believer who can still find a way to doubt, to say yes, then run. This Advent season, I haven’t been able to get past Mary’s doubt. It’s not that I can ever [...]