Afterwards | An Advent Poem

Mystery. Paraclete. God’s particular dance with the ordinary.

Usually, in the great 15th century paintings, shown as the dove.

You have to look up to see it, above the angel. Mary, sees only

the angel, holds fast the gaze of the extraordinary. It’s love,


the lover that hovers high. Waiting. Does it know the answer

she will give to the angel? Can it read already the intricacies

of the human heart? Or does it have to wait to hear from her?

Each wing beat a forever until she said “Let it be.” Afterwards


the world resumed its normal orbit – there, for a hearts beat,

it had tilted closer to the sun – the moon had wavered. All of

the old loyalties had felt the shudder, felt the blow in the feet

and up to the belly. No one divined the nature of the disturbance


but her. The one whose belly now housed the Word, a universe.

This world, now different , the Spirit, taken, made utterly human.

Word translated in a womb to the language we would dismiss or

read as truly fantastic, thrum of miracle in the blood of a woman.

Richard Osler

Advent | 2007



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