The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary…”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1: 28-30, 38
…to bear in her womb
Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power –
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.
Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love –
but who was God.
~Denise Levertov from “The Annunciation”
This is the honest grace of her body:
that she is afraid, and in this moment does not
hide her fear.
Until in the cave of her body
she might feel without willing it a tenderness
begin to form. Like the small, ghostly
clover of the meadow; the deer hidden
in the hills. A tenderness like mourning.
The source of love, she thinks, is mourning.
…the child that will soon form
inside her body, this loss by which we come
to bend before the given, its arms that open
unexplained, and take us in.
~Laurie Sheck from “The Annunciation”
Still, the secret at her heart burns like
a sun rising. How to hold it in—
that which cannot be contained.
But then, part dazzled, part prescient—
she hugs her body, a pod with a seed
that will split her.
~Luci Shaw from “Mary Consider Her Situation”