Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mary Triptych (Part 3): Your Son, Now

The book giveaway contest concludes tonight at Seedlings in Stone at 6 p.m. Eastern time. A winner will be picked at random to receive a copy of Scot McKnight’s The Real Mary and have the opportunity to write a guest post for BeliefNet. So you still have time to leave a comment and be automatically in the drawing.

Here’s the third of the three “Triptych poems” I’ve written about Mary, the mother of Jesus. In a few days, I’ll post some thoughts about them. The first two, "May It Be to Me" and "He Had to Be," seem to have struck a responsive chord; they’ve also taken me to a place I never expected to go – the place of writing as pain.

Your Son, Now

In upper room,
I sit with disciples, praying
With Simon Rock and
Brother Andrew, James,
Doubter, Publican
And Beloved.

Each day I walk
To this place with Beloved.
My son, now;
His mother, now.
Since that day when he said.

That day I saw
The other,
Brow pierced by thorns,
Back lashed, body bruised
From Roman beatings.
That day, the life
Washed from his eyes,
The eyes looking at me
As he suckled,
The hands reaching for me,
The arms clasping my legs.
The life now washing away.

On that hill, I thought
Of Cana, oddly.
Not my time,
He said to me, Mother,
Not my time.
But changed the water anyway.
And he danced,
His robe flowing
Like a wind song;
Joy upon his face.
But that day, it was his time.
No water, they laughed. No wine.
Only gall.

I sit and pray in upper room
With disciples.
My Joseph taught him
To saw, to cut, to
Plane, to shape
Wood into usefulness
And sometimes beauty.
My Joseph guided, his
Hand on Jeshua’s hand.
Yeshua knew what
My Joseph had done.
He stood next to me
When we buried my Joseph,
He wept tears of love
For the man who loved us both.
But on that day,
That day of heavens torn
Like the temple curtain,
That day
We buried Yeshua.
I knew the desolate solitude
Of seeing him born and
Seeing him die.
The only one.

Later I saw him
Who did not look like him,
But the for the eyes, living now
With a different life,
A life I could barely glimpse
And not imagine.
I rushed to hold him but
He pointed to Beloved.
Your son, now;
His mother, now.

My son is not my son, now.
My son is my savior,

The Crucifixion Triptych, Rogier Van Der Weiden, ca. 1440, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.


L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, this...

"But that day, it was his time.
No water, they laughed. No wine."

This moment is outside of everything before, and yet within it. I'm sitting with that thought... and the loveliness of your poem.

Maureen said...

I am overwhelmed, Glynn, by the emotion, the deep feeling, the sense of weight of pain and loss that yo describe. Each of the three you've written stands on its own but together create so powerful a notion of what it means to give up what is most dear, so that it becomes what the world needs, just doesn't yet know.

The part that stopped me: "I knew the desolate solitude/Of seeing him born and/Seeing him die./The only one." I can't help but think of all the mothers who lose their "only one" in the deserts of Iraq and the aeries of Afghanistan. And how I would feel if I lost my son who is my "only one". Those lines say everything there is to say about being a mother: to make the ultimate sacrifice, which surely Mary did, is to know only the most "desolate solitude". They also describe what it is that we lose, collectively.

Thank you, not only for the intellect your three poems reflect but also for the depth of emotion these poems required of you. To imagine, as you have, the pain of such loss, and to write out that pain in words so the pain can be felt, and not just imagined--that is an unusual gift.

Peace be with you.