Mary — O God

your son taken from you
hung here to die
by the world you gave him to,

you remember that first startling
opening of your eyes,
the angelic visitation,
“of his Realm there will be no end…”

You know in the fist of this cruelty
the depth of what it means
to have given him fully,
a new kind of birth pang

shared by the world’s peasant mothers
who see their sons taken,
their cries muffled,
their agony belittled.

To those who take his life
he gives even more,
this dying a birthing, a nursing,
his flesh for their life.

With grief and generosity mothers know
(your son understood;
but the Empire can’t):
mothers, like God, give life.

It is given, not taken,
wholly given to the world
knowing the world will take unknowingly,
given nonetheless in love.

For the death of cruelty, you suffer;
the birth of justice a labor you accept,
a dying you transfigure, for the sake
of the realm of love that has no end.

Mary—O God—
sorrowing, you know
the life you gave
gives life.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

April 1, 2021

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