For Good Friday: “Gabriel Came on Friday (Magnificat)” [a poem]

Not of flesh nor will of man
But of heart by will of Him.

Deep within a shot was cast and burrowed in the bow
The fine line of ecstasy and horror homoousion‘d among
And within
Obedience was found on worthy lips, blessing bestowed for ages come.
Yet the blessing’s joy was as a bell in the mist:

Neither found or seen. Until the rocks came.
The first one came through bedroom blinds
The curtain sheer with lustful inviting
A song was sung; a song of joy
And yet muses silent fell, and draped themselves in ash.

Songs abounded, wrongs abided, and the Ladies still wore black
Lips were curled, laughs were made, but the Prophets wept their tears
For as the being was in its becoming, the echoes and wonders and questions
Finally found contour and home.

Atlas could not bear this Womb of death.

But it was done. He is finished.
The Tree of Life entwined with Death
Grew in Second Eden, dripping its fruit of galling sweetness
It was conceived:
No serpent found but shame would be known,

Between notes of eternal song, the weight of blessing on shoulders young.
Consent and call met with tears and song
He came

And it was born(e)
With this redemption came a life of pain-tears-doubt-blessing-curse
Intimacy not known with Him so Intimate with her
The Soul’s Home resting in the body of the pierced, obedient one.

She was home for her Home, so loneliness was hers.

Fingers clutch bedsheets knuckle-white
Release gives blood to members numb
The first breath in minutes graces lips
Eyes open wet against the ceiling above
Throat and soul sore from magnifying Eternity

The ecstasy has passed.
Past and future wed and consummate;
Obedience found is innocence lost.

Still months away
from ears stung
by song sung
of looséd tongue,
Yet something in her already knows the quiet truth of this Friday
and of her coming life:

“A sword will pierce your heart.”


The tears of joy still sting wounds.


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[read other Holy Day poetry here]
All writings licensed: Creative Commons License
Image: “The Annunciation” by Henry Ossawa Tanner


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