12/23/2008

The Wings of Annunciation

My Christmas poem for 2008:

The Wings of Annunciation

I. The aging Chessie darted down the
winding, bluff road to find a flock of
heavy, dark winged turkeys lumbering
past. She gave chase when, as one graceful
body, they rose vertical into waiting
trees, the reverberation of air beneath wings
pummeling the puzzled, circling dog.

II. In a tent next to my mother I lay, half awake.
Pines whispered their night messages, water
pressed rhythmically against rock’s edge.
A loon called beyond the shore, the haunting
cry of northern night. Then air began to throb,
the hollow echo of sudden wings lifting,
haunting my uneasy sleep.

III. In summer’s heat I sat in the courtyard
of the Wailing Wall. Guards with rifles
rounded above. Women covered themselves,
pressing prayers into cracks. Men
bobbed their prayers on the distant side.
Then dozens of doves, startled, rose up,
beating the prayer-laden air below.

This is the sound of an angel, interrupting.

-- Michelle M. Hargrave, Christmas 2008

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