And Mary – the Mary who always
appears when she is needed

in road signs, adobe walls, the blooming of roses,
to Mexican children
and the Alzheimer clairvoyance of the old,
now and in the hour of their death.

This Mary said to her cousin,
Elizabeth, big and swollen-ankled with
her own menopausal maternity,

“My soul is a lens for God, my spirit castanets,
for God has made me both pregnant and  pageant
for the sake of all children forever.
The Mighty One has found sanctuary
in my human lactation.

God has brought health care justice to all
and denied the wealthy the power of prescription.
God has given clean wells to Africa
and taken away designer water bottles.
God has called bans of blessing
on men who love men and women who love women
and unbanned the banning of haters.

God has deployed these new forces –
hope for the suicidal,
peace for the undocumented immigrant,
joy for the jobless,
love for those whose lives
have been twisted by incest …

remembering the fertility of Eden,
the promise of Ararat, the repentance of Ninevah,
Isaiah’s holy mountain menagerie,
and the cross and alleluia
curled fetal even now
beneath this frail diaphragm
that breathes through one young woman — a song.


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