Glory’s Overshadowing

(an advent poem) 

Look there! 
Through the trees
Glory’s overshadowing
covers those living
under the shadow of death— 
& the One who conceived 
constellations & comets—
giving them birth with a shout
of joy is himself conceived & formed
in a womb he made out of dust. 

See now! 
He who labored to lay low
ocean floors & raise up horizons
lay low in the pelvis of a woman 
laboring long amongst the ewes 
bleating with their newborn lambs
these other mothers of sacrifice.

Hear how her sighs 
signaled the shattering of sorrows
as he who was emerged at last—
in water, blood & vernix
swirling like the milky way.
Mary’s tears of relief
—a prophecy of longing & of joy.

His first cry signaled it was safe 
to hope again, as he lay 
in a feeding trough
the cut grass beneath him 
smelling of both life & death—
of a sacramental feast.
Like the bread of life rising
from grains crushed to dust—
like the stars long dead 
still shouting in the silence
	“GLORIA! He’s here!”

You could hear them for miles!
The great hosts of heaven 
belting with a boom like thunder
	“GLORIA! He’s here!”
		How terrifying!
these songs of glory & peace
must have sounded to these least of these 
shepherds stood aghast
until at last, they too saw the babe
wrapped in swaddles as foretold.
		the holiest in the lowliest—
and you could see it 
in their awestruck faces
		this story is too strange 
                to be a lie—
		who could conceive it?

Watch them bolt through city streets, 
their feet pounding out 
the sound of joy pouring out 
of their dry lips
	“GLORIA! —He’s here!”

who could conceive?
of God wrapped in fragile flesh—
	He’s hereat last.”

(Image c/o Grayson Joralemon on Unsplash)

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