Tuesday 13 December 2011

Falling For Mary (an advent poem)

Mary, I am sorry, for the way I’ve acted towards you.

For the silent disdain I’ve held in my tradition, without ever really knowing it.

Ten years ago those words and prayers about you confused me and I just couldn’t understand,

Your place and role in God’s Father plan.

I never quite got what it was you did, but have a kid,

A kid who was God, but there was much more to it than I gave you credit for.

And then three years ago I re-read those words you said.

Recorded in that book.

And I read them again and again nearly every day.

Words about how God sends the rich away without what they came for.

Those things you said about the humility of a servant.

And how God is merciful, forever.

And I grew to appreciate you more.

Found something in you like a revolution.

And realised that your words held a power that was beyond who you were.

That the song you sang in all its magnificence,

Was itself a miraculous event.

Last year I saw your face, painted with oils deep and rich.

On an island off the coast of Scotland.

You were dressed in blue, your head covered, your eyes deep and penetrating.

And I couldn’t look away.

From that gaze, that,

Felt like it held time together.

And then this Spring I spent so many days with other pictures of you.

Brush strokes trying to tell the story of that moment.

When the messenger of God visited you.

And I wondered.

How you felt.

Whether you were scared?

Or pious?

Or submissive?

Or strong?

Or both.

And I think I started to fall in love with you.

When I realised that,

Beyond the pictures in their gilded frames.

And white lilies.

And red needlework.

And doves.

And prayer books.

Was you.



And resilient.

So resilient.

And I realised that those words you sang in that song,

Were sung from your experience.

And that the eyes with which you looked.

Upon the messenger of God.

Were eyes, just like, the eyes of every other.

And before it all,

I began to see you, for who I’d never let you be.

And since July, I’ve seen those eyes again, nearly every single day,

Eyes shaped out of coloured glass and penetrating in power.

And another gilded frame, with its golds and reds and blues.

And the boy on your lap.

The boy, held close to your heart,

The very same heart to be pierced,

As Simeon said.

And in the darkness of this growing winter,

In the midst of this season of waiting.

I am slowly understanding.

Just what advent means.

And I’m slowly understanding,

Just who you were called to be.

And I’m slowly getting a grip on,

What that is supposed to mean to me.

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