She Said Yes

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a mouthful, but the full title reminds people that when the Church speaks of “immaculate conception” it is referring to Mary, and not to Jesus.

In celebration of this feast of Mary, I thought I’d share one of the many annunciation poems that I love. Here is Paul Mariani’s poem, I Did Say Yes.

Thou heardst me, truer than toungue, confess…
Gerard Manley Hopkins

The barely prayable prayer as the words fall away,
Words unguessed or unguessable, soft silence only,
Penetrant silence, the pit, then something stirring…
Importunate, unquenchable mind, astray
Or aswarm, attuned for odd moments after, then
Drifting. Then a lull & a lifting, then self flickering back,
As the parched sunflower turns towards the sun…

A woman kneels, head bent forward, each cell attendant
Upon the flame which, consuming, does not consume,
But gently enwrapts, caressing, filling herself with itself,
The burning clouds lingering, then hovering off, like
Mist off a mountain, here in this kitchen, this cell, here,
Where the timeless crosses with time, this chiasmus,
Infinity & now, nowhere & always, this cosmos, this fresh-

Found dimension, all attention gone over now, as flame
Flickers and whispers, all care turning to ash, all fear,
All consequence even, all given over, ah, lover to lover
Now, saying yes, yes, whatever you will, my dear,
Yes echoing down the long halls of time, yes,
In spite of all disappointment, of the death of Love even,
The barely sayable yes again, yes again, yes I will. Yes.

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