Mary twists to stare at the intruder,
an angel, no less. His plaid-lined cape
flutters, lifted by a breeze
that touches nothing else. Waxy lilies,
white and virginal, spring from a vase.
She turns away, clutches her robe
of ultramarine and gold across her breast
as if she’s been caught undressed.
She’s stuck her thumb into her book
so she won’t lose her place.
Her mouth turns down.
She sees it even now— the birth out of town
in dismal lodgings, swaddling clothes damp
and odorous, husband resentful
of a child not his own, the embarrassing ruckus
in the temple, the motley gang of followers,
the agonizing and ignominious death,
the sponge soaked in vinegar.
My poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, Hanging Loose, Poetry East, and Poetry New Zealand, among many others, and are included in four anthologies. I have published two books, Embers on the Stairs (FutureCycle Press),and Fugitive Pigments (Moon Tide Press.) Two more books, No Longer at this Address (Tebot Bach) and Flour, Water, Salt (FutureCycle Press) are forthcoming.
The Ekphrastic Review
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