Home Catechetical Corner Advent Week 1: Poems to bring us into the Advent state of...

Advent Week 1: Poems to bring us into the Advent state of mind

759
A depiction of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem sculpted from sand is displayed in the Italian resort town of Jesolo. Advent begins Nov. 29 this year. (CNS photo/Jesolo Tourism Office)

Resting in the miracle

The doctor placed you upon me,
Skin on skin, warm but cold.
She said skin would bond us.
She said you would know it was me.

(CNS illustration; photo by Lisa A. Johnston)

We lay there, shivering in exhilaration
As they spread a blanket over us.
All that waiting and here you were.
I could not wait to know you.

You lay upon my chest
New, slick and pink
But I could not see your face.
Your head turned from mine.

Who would I see in that face?
My own? My husband’s? My God?
My God,
You enveloped yourself in this mystery.

He whom the whole world could not hold,
Enclosed in a womb, a body, a child.
And how could I ever know you?
All of you?

I didn’t dare move.
This child, too small, too fragile,
I could see only a shoulder
Curved from out of the hospital blanket.

And then, I understood.
A small glimpse of glory!
As Moses saw your back
And I see you in this child.

And I know you know me
And him
And we
Enveloped in that love

So close, so tender
Fall asleep
Resting in the miracle,
The mystery.

Out of sight

Darkness has a way of overtaking our senses,
our sight, our stability.
It suffocates, stifles.

It is difficult to find our way.

As it was in the beginning, as it is now, as it was then.
And we wonder will we ever see again?

And yet.

Out of sight.
Somewhere hidden
Something is growing.
Goodness itself

Light tucked inside a teenage womb.
Tender and treasured
She taps her tummy as expectant mothers do
Light rolls and kicks and moves inside her.
Light from light
Immensity sheltered in such a small space
Waiting to shine

It is the same now
We wait in anticipation

Pleading, begging, wishing, longing, hoping
For the light to overtake the darkness.

As in the beginning,
When the earth was formless, void.
When darkness covered the surface of the deep,
And light crashed through.

The journey

The pain is sharp — excruciating — as the weight of the child presses upon her bladder.
The donkey shifts under her. Each bump in the road brings new pain.
And yet, she smiles.

They were fortunate to join a caravan leaving Nazareth.
This journey is not one to take alone; there is safety and comfort in a pack.
Ninety grueling miles ahead of them. The caravan snakes behind them.
It is a motley mix of beasts and beings and belongings.
Her husband walks before her, leading the donkey protectively, lovingly, gently.
She smiles at her husband, her partner in this mystery.

Most will cover 20 miles a day but, in her condition, they decide to take it slower.
The couple moves to the middle as the swift overtake them.
The weather is cold, biting.
Without much to disrupt their gust, winds whip along the flatlands of the Jordan River.
She senses whispers of something wonderful. This will be a special place.
She stokes her stomach and smiles.

The landscape changes as does the weather; the sky opens and rain torrents upon them.
Water pools in the valley floor below them.
Trees seem to sprout in front and to the sides as they move into a forest.
They hear shouts from the front of the line. Was it a lion? A bear? A ferocious boar?
She shakes her head at her spouse, knowing they will be protected, she smiles.

Each meal is dried bread dipped in oil or herbs.
And in the freezing night they gather around the fire to hear stories of bandits and robbers.
Then stories shift to ones they have all heard before; a king, a savior, Immanuel.
At last they move over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, into Bethlehem.
Uphill. Downhill. With each pain comes.
The couple slows to the end of the procession.
She clenches her teeth, yet smiles through the pain
Knowing the wait is nearly over.

Gonzalez is a freelance writer. Her website is www.shemaiahgonzalez.com.