Sunday, December 23, 2007

From Advent to the Nativity: On the Way to Bethlehem

As I reflect upon the very short transition from the 4th Sunday of Advent (today) to Christmas Eve (tomorrow), I am living in the midst of Expectation (Advent) as I make the transition to the Incarnation (Christmas). [These feelings have even deeper meaning as we are expecting a child to be born later this winter!]

I was so glad to find that a poet friend of mine who blogs over at poetproph, has posted one of her wonderful and rich poems on her blog.

She writes:
The poem was originally from my book, Annunciations: Poems out of Scripture (Edwin Mellen Poetry Press, 2003). Here is a slightly revised version

On the Way to Bethlehem

The timing could not be worse
But it’s the law. My husband has to go,
Even though I’m well along.
You are lively within me, moving and kicking me.
Your kicking hurts. It wakes me in the night,
Reminds me, as I walk
More and more laboriously,
You are coming soon.

I suppose we are safe enough
After all, it was an angel who came.
Looking back, I have never doubted that.
My husband has been tender, despite my disgrace.
He is sure, too, about the angel.
So I suppose we have no cause to worry.
It’s only my aching back
The sharp pains from your tiny feet,
The smell and press of crowds, and all the delays.

The only thing that matters now, is bearing you safely
Into this messy world
And now even that I cannot control.
I did what I could do, but it’s all left behind.
At home, we had a place prepared for you.
I longed to see you soon.
Then I hoped you would come later, after our return
But now I know for sure that you will be coming
To a place we did not know.

I catch my breath at a sudden squeeze of pain.
My body recognizes the agony,
Already begun.

poetproph: On the Way to Bethlehem

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