Nazareth, how the narrow streets
teemed with merchants, a display of
ladies’ undergarments, emerald, apricot
bras, and camel leather wallets.
Buckets heaped with cinnamon, saffron,
and frankincense. Seven gleaming buses in
a row, yellow, purple, blue, white, spilling with
pilgrims. Red spray paint mars the side of
one bus, Israel, terrorist state! A swastika
The locals go about their business. Bustling
from one errand to another, shopping. Herbs and
onions, aubergines as purple as wine. A tumble of
dark women wrapped in white gauze, all the way
from Ethiopia. Happy laughter. In the courtyard
of the Church of the Annunciation, they sing.
Many voices. Familiar praises. The mosaics
as beautiful as music. Pale blue tiles and seashells,
the sun is glitter on glass.
A lemon tree, yellow ornaments close enough to reach.
She said yes! a minister tells her flock.
A Canadian flag
on the lapel of one with head bowed.
Mary said, who me, how me, and
yes. She said, here I am.
She said yes.
Inside, sanctuary. A group of Indians praying.
I sit with them for a moment. I do not know
their language, but I know the words.
Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
I think about the incarnation. About a young
Jewish girl. How she stood in this place, two thousand
years before I got here. I have never
had courage. Bravado, it’s not the same thing.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
I prayed too. For the whole year
I knew I was coming here, I prayed. Not
Lord, here I am. Rather, Lord, help
There was no answer.
And he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Still waiting to believe,
still wanting to believe,
I was afraid I would feel nothing coming here.
But I feel everything. Fear, and joy. Fury,
and longing. Welcome, and left behind.
There are miles of sky and salt and sand. There are
almonds, there are green olives, glistening
at breakfast, briny in my mouth as
the Dead Sea. There are sheep, and shepherds,
cattle on a thousand hills. Everything is holy.
Lorette C. Luzajic
A visual artist and writer, Lorette C. Luzajic is also the editor of Ekphrastic. She is the author of over ten books, including Funny Stories About Depression, Truck and other thoughts on art, Kilodney Does Shakespeare, Fascinating Artists, Fascinating Writers, and Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life. Her poetry collections are The Astronaut's Wife, and Solace. Visit her at www.ideafountain.ca.
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