Eastern OrthodoxMaryPoetryPrayer

Mother and Child

Do the best things only happen when we pray?
If so, from your lips to God’s ear; only you hear me.
For every Rachael there’s a Leah
For every Lot a wife and daughters
For every Shunamite woman a Shunamite woman

So we sit in the darkest place at the darkest time
Rendering to Caesar our inheritance
Marrying and giving in marriage
Watching sheep and stars by night
And Christ comes when nobody is looking for him

And aside from a flash of light and a slaughter
Nothing in the world changed at all
Rachel wept for her children
Mary feared for her child
And the rest of the children remained enslaved

From the creation of the world is the refrain
How long, O Lord, How long, How long
Two thousand years of birth pangs later
We still aren’t all that sure
It hasn’t actually been a miscarriage

But the shepherds and the blind and the dead
Who weren’t or couldn’t be watching
Somehow saw and heard and awoke
It wasn’t what they were expecting
But they came and prayed and were healed

Mary was the one expecting, great with child
And unexpectedly as always her child died
Not everyone is childless who is barren
A sword pierces every mother’s heart
And makes it wider than the heavens

And every burning passion for an absent child
Is a prayer that can only be answered
By a mother whose child gives up his life
So that all those dead will eternally live
And every mother and child will be iconic

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Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

A Northerner by upbringing, Kenneth has lived in the South since his (first) college days. After returning to college, he began to do more than just dabble with writing, and has self-published a children's picture book, a middle-reader's book, and several collections of poetry. Baptized in the Roman Catholic church, raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church, and having spent time in the Reformed Baptist church, Kenneth settled down in the Eastern Orthodox church in 2006.

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