Prayer · The Mind Mumbles

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

(A Reflection on The Annunciation)

Such familiar words.

Fear not!

Greetings, favoured one.

Nothing will be impossible with God.

and

Let it be with me according to your word.

For a virgin girl child

In the footsteps of a barren old woman

Nothing is impossible with God.

To the hearts of young virgins and the hopes of old crones

The angel’s voice rings bright and clear

and life begins

and hope is born

and there is peace on earth.

But what of me?

Can life be born in a life worn out by life?

Can eternity dwell in a soul to sin sold?

Can this defiled womb be home to heaven?

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

In Nazareth a maiden’s heart jumps

and the unborn leap at the Seraph’s call

and I, hearing God’s words do not always sing,

but only sigh and weep in the silence of self love.

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

How can this be for those worn by sin and over full with holy words

How can this be for those replete

with Shepherds and Magi,

Angels and Manger

Hearing the story year by year yet no longer listening.

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

Shepherds, poor and in need, run to find hope.

The wise, wealthy and all knowing, bow low in adoration.

And angels dance, and praise, and shine!

But I, over-used to the messenger of God,

Ponder and weep that this child will not be born in me today.

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

Can this ever be?

Gabriel stands again a greeting to impart.

This year can this be me?

Surely no!

I am no child full of life and innocence and hope.

Drinking deeply at the well of this world

I am found thirsty and empty,

childless and alone.

How can this be, since I, am not a virgin?

Yet still you knock at heart’s door and greet us all by name

Yet still you proclaim it is for us you came

Yet still you wait for our reply

A simple ‘yes’ that your work may begin.

It may not be with Shepherd’s glee

It cannot be with Angels’ trump

Yet here am I, virgin no more,

Broken and sorrowful, tired and torn.

Still, please,

let it be with me, according to your word.

© Andrew Dotchin 2005

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