Spring morning light. Dew-sparkled grass
As I lift the empty jar and walk
Steeply down between shadowed houses
To the well. I’m early. Glad today
There are only smiles, quiet greetings
Not the teasing, comments, knowing looks
From those who mock and envy joy.
Betrothal to an older man.
They do not know his caring kindness
His gentle smile, confidence, calm skill
Jar filled I turn uphill for home
Tasks of an ordinary day.

Summer afternoon. Dry Judean hills.
I rest, the slight nausea has gone.
Inside, Elizabeth’s calm slow steps
Careful of the coming child and me
Safe from gossip, faces turned away.
I think of that ordinary morn
Ended in a way I still cannot
Fully comprehend. Angel’s words
That put me on a path not travelled
Before. Yet I know essential truth
The child within me, still too small
To feel. Yet more than any child has been
So when I said “God’s will be done”
History changed. God is in me.

Cool autumn evening. Sun’s afterglow.
My wedding day. Not young girl’s glory
I dreamt last year. None there save those who
Had to be. My swelling body hid
By new blue cloak, his wedding gift to me.
Dear Joseph, so concerned to do right
By law, by promise and by me.
He knows the full true state of things
He too met Gabriel, in the dark
Of dreams. He too heard the will of God
Accepting that accepted me
Now sleeps sound. The child within me stirs.

Cold winter night. Frost sharp outside.
The stars look down, windows of the world
From which this sleeping baby came.
Now close wrapped, warm, safe in scented hay.
He watched wide eyed the shepherds’ kneeling forms
Heard the soft swish of cattle stirring straw
Cried briefly, fed and closed his eyes
On this dark world to which he’s come
I, nine months of wonder, brief hour of pain
Forgotten in joy this child is born.
I sense sadness in time to come.
For this moment he is mine alone.