The Annunciation

Archangel, how do you move?
Star-slinging, epoch gathering, 
Undreaming, dream-reading.
Bearing the Eternal “Will you?”
At what time of day, olamic angel
Did you visit the One who in her “Yes”
Would become Visitor to comfort the comfortless?

Are your wings, Archangel
As I imagine them, or as Fra Angelico?
Heavy, unruly swans, tethered and ready
That quiver and quicken the Lady’s air
Or orderly alary rows of coloured quills
That, had convent walls allowed, would willingly
Reflect, with opalescent joy, the Lighted Word.

Did the cool air move, in the house,
where you entered? Archangel, 
Did your wings or breath or mouth
Move air, breeze cloth, lift hair, that made her look
From book or bowl or dawn-light waiting?
And could meandering particles of air
Still sanctify this city? Could brush past skin like mine?

Did she take a breath? Breathe in?
I’ve seen breath end and breath begin
Did her lips part, as you started 
To say the first of the first decade, a chime
That would echo through beads of pulsing time
A Rose, did she rise, even slightly, politely 
To welcome the guest, the “Yes” already begun

How quick, Archangel, to allay fear?
I would hide, and yet long to be near 
To bury my face in your plumate back
Like a child, wild with the earth, tamed by Beauty
As I dream to rest my head on her knee
Did her eyes widen, before they turned their gaze
On banished generations.  On one like me?

Archangel, how loud the silence?
The ellipsis where hung all men’s hopes?
When waiting Life waited because of love
That won’t demand, but only asks,
Listened to lips that sung of lowliness
Shaping sounds of salvation, 
The first of two “fiats”, that echo of love. 

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