Advent Poetry Series “Darkness”


For Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

-Handel’s Messiah (from Isaiah, chapter 60)

Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb, / Now leaves His well-beloved imprisonment.

-John Donne “La Corona”

We are all some mother’s child,
all born through great pain,

then a flood of release, an unbearable empty.
I sang a broken song, a wail of psalm

until you came. We were cold, alone,
this man who will raise you, and I.

No mother, no midwife, one blanket,
a borrowed pot of water on the fire.

Did I not expect you would cry with me,
you who had willed every infant’s cry?

Did I not expect you would need me,
your body suddenly cold, craving my skin?

You bobbed your head along my chest
in search of milk: ordinary, human.

Where were the trumpets, where the showering
of gold? We three were hushed in the dark,

my blood trickling to the ground, my husband’s silent tears,
your infant body learning to swallow.

And in this, somehow, Glory.
My God, you deserve more than the two of us,

torn open and shivering with you in the dark.

This is from a series of five Advent poems I wrote for John Knox Presbyterian Church in Seattle. See the first poem here and the second poem here.
© 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 By/For Project.

Faith, Imperfect
Advent Poetry Series: “Christ’s Mother Reflects: His Childhood”
Daughters of Jerusalem (A Good Friday poem)
Only 10 days late…the winner of Sarah Dunning Park’s book of poems
  • Holly

    Oh Micha,
    Again, this is just so incredibly beautiful. You have so miraculously wrought the holy/human entanglement and I am left breathless. Thank you so much for this.
    And please,
    consider writing more poetry.

  • Jeannie

    I can only repeat what the person before me said. LOVE your poetry! More please! :-)

  • Bethany Bassett

    This poetry of yours… it makes glory accessible.

  • Hännah

    Love, love, love.

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams

    Stunning, my friend. I particularly love the borrowed pot of water, and the last line.

  • michaboyett

    You are too kind. I promise. : )

  • michaboyett

    Katie, Hannah, Jeannie, Bethany: So grateful for the praise and honored too. Thanks for reading and connecting.