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Poetry: A Verse for the Annunciation

THE ANNUNCIATION
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"In My Hand"

This year, the feast of the Annunciation fell on Palm Sunday, so it was transferred to today, the first day after the conclusion of the Easter Octave. Usually this celebration is marked on March 25, nine months before Christmas.

In My Hand

A Verse for the Annunciation (March 25)

Lentils strewn
across the wall in a dusky wave —
These things I remember

Mid-day hunger —
we had an onion, so the stew smelled rich

I filled my bowl to the brim, heard a rustling
like leaves on the tops of juniper trees
swaying in the wind

And turned

“Hail, Full of Grace …”

Light broke with a voice
terrible, but sweet

I could see him, yet through him
he was golden, white and blue —
with silver specks sparking off his skin, like moonlight on water

And the lentils, they flew from my hand when I jumped
and gasped and grabbed my throat
to find it silent

Only the sound of a wooden bowl, clattering across stone
and his words, “Be Not Afraid,” filled the room

As strong and as real as the fire beneath my pot
As strong and as real as the cold beneath my feet
As strong and as real as the waft of lentils
for which I was no longer hungry

These things I remember

I hold them in my hand like the same wooden bowl,
now cracked on one side — my finger finds the line often
and traces it, like a scar

Especially when I feed my Son of the Most High
lentils or pottage or goat curds — his favorite —
and He squeals and smacks and splats
them on His face, in my hair, on the wall

I laugh at the Child’s dancing brown eyes,
but words spoken over Him —

“A sword shall pierce your soul too …”

grip my heart all the more as He now reaches
to grab for my hand.

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