She Who Is

annunciation

 

*to be read aloud with others

MARY OF NAZARETH

I am mystery,

rebel,

mother,

refugee,

a voice crying out compassion

in the face of cruelty,

human misery.

I am Mary of Nazareth,

I sing my reckless trust,

my ache,

confusion.

Mine are the dirges any mother sings

whose child is cut

down too young.

I sing

of dashed dreams

that turned to diamonds.

I was young and hopeful,

the future danced in my eyes!

I always had a wild streak

(some said

I was a rebel),

My head uncovered,

my hair flying,

I ran

through the streets

with friends.

My voice carried

loudest

they said.

I did not always

heed the Law,

or my parents,

or anyone else.

I sometimes spoke

out.

I asked the why of things.

I was silenced.,

but never

for long,

because

a restlessness ran through me.

It seemed I wanted more from life

than most.

The longing wouldn’t go away.

They hoped that Joseph would

tame my restless spirit

with domestic dreams, a family future

I accepted,

but secretly,


I tucked away

my restlessness

in the corner of my heart

far from

the eyes of anyone.

Yet, God spied my hidden treasure, and smiling,

asked if I’d dare bring

that MORE in me to life,

new life,

for all like me

who dream for more than Law.

I swallowed hard, but

I

said

YES!

I surrendered to birth

a bigger dream

than hearts could capture then.

I said YES

to birthing MYSTERY

midst the darkness.

My YES blasted walls

of Law and custom.

It brought talk,

sniping,

pointing fingers,

stones,

as I walked

pregnant with MYSTERY,

God’s dream.

I remember…

that dark night,

NO’S

slamming in my face,

locked doors,

far from family,

my body bursting

I gave birth

to MYSTERY shining

on a bed of straw

midst blood and tears,

beggar’s breath,

shepherd’s sighs.

Yes, I remember…

hot sand, night chills,

running, foreign lands,

fleeing, strange streets,

fugitives, Herod’s cold cruelty.

But, I do remember warmer days,

watching my boy grow.


I saw myself in him.

I wondered who he might become.

I loved his fire,

his integrity, his joy.

And as he grew, I saw

his YES,

His YES to God and

no one else!

I was afraid.

Mother love could not last longer.

He was a young man

with the future in his eyes, and

compassion in his arms!

I let him go.

I let him go into his YES,

into streets,

salons,

and synagogues,

open arms of prostitutes and beggars, and

Into the slippery hands of hypocrites!

I am a martyr’s mother.

I let him go into his YES.

I let him go into God’s arms.

GOD’S ARMS BECAME A CROSS!

And my YES

hung limp

on the tree—

a last

lifeless

leaf.

I cried all martyrs’ mothers’ tears.

I wailed the death of dreams and hoping.

I moaned my flesh and blood

martyr-child snatched

too young

from the nest!

WHERE ARE YOU NOW GOD?

WHO ARE YOU

TO LET GO OF

YOUR PEARL

SO EASILY?

WHAT KIND OF CRUEL GOD

ARE YOU

THAT SNUFFS OUT

YOUR OWN DREAM?

HE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING,

YOU GAVE HIM DEATH!

SCORPIONS!

SNAKES!

YOU GAVE US STONES, NOT BREAD!


But, I remember…

how there was new

breath

and wind

and blessing.

how God

breathed

into our empty.

Death couldn’t hide,

Death couldn’t hold our YES!

YES! there was breath

and bread

and blessing!

YES! An empty tomb! YES!

bread broken and blessed on a road! YES!

ARMS OPENED

AND HEARTS BURNING

WITHIN US! YES!

There is breath

and wind

and blessing! YES!

He lives!

among us!

I birthed a bigger dream

more than our hearts

could contain,

more truth than death’s arms could bear!

Dreams lie waiting hidden

in you hearts to be born again

carried to all who long like us for MORE.

My sisters, my brothers,

carry them, bear them.

Bring them to YES!

Bring them to birth

midst the darkness!

By Patricia Clemens Repikoff

From DASHED DREAMS AND DIAMOND

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