Advent, Week Three (Joy): Elizabeth

Barren

 

like a plowed field lying

fruitless,

a land too poor to produce

sustenance,

absent of any thing

 

significant.

Like a withered

stalk,

an empty

hold,

a shard,

like the well run dry.

Devoid of meaning or

value,

unable to be

 

beautiful.

This is how they

adorn her. They,

the womb-blessed,

see only her

lack.

 

She cups the curve of her

lifelessness

and her mouth curves

upward.

Those murmurs once went

deep, planting a whole

forest of raging despair.

 

She almost laughs.

I was not barren

at all, she thinks.

 

The waking to silence,

the holding of other women’s

children,

the sorrowful gaze of her

husband, the walking the long

morning path

alone; the long slow

years of holding out

hands in supplication,

the patient up-

rooting and under-

turning of the tangles

of her self;

 

all these were the tilling.

Giving life is so much more

than giving

birth. She can look now

at a life of mothering

in all the ways that

matter.

Her yielded heart holds

a hundred hundred stories of the ones

she has loved,

touched, known,

cultivated.

She is

 

a garden.

And now, kicking

within her is a holy

fire, a life that could only be

planted in soil rich and deep and

sure enough to grow a mighty

power.

 

Wonder

blooms around her, this barren

mother of the last

prophet.

And down through the centuries her joy

rings like

 

laughter.

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One thought on “Advent, Week Three (Joy): Elizabeth

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