Waiting for Her Word 🎄

by Johanna Caton

Inspired by St Bernard of Clairvaux’s Homily on Our Lady’s Fiat.
Homily 4, 8-9.

what song flew out
what fathering word
what innocence bowed
each to each?

what silence took her
lost in angel fire
what unimagined flames,
unfathomed speech?

now wait for her to say.
now wait for heart to find 
some way to shape
a word from rising springs.

she hears the wailing
of impatient earth’s
captivity, waiting
for a child – or rather

two: the girl is one 
and seed of siring God 
the other, to be sown 
in open ground 

of willingness.  Can mere
young girl recast 
the whole world’s play? 
her whispered word downs 

towering ice and snow – 
an avalanche into the void: 
the fall of our first fall 
as fiat floats upon the light. 

Johanna Caton, O.S.B., is a Benedictine nun of Minster Abbey in England. Originally from Virginia, she lived in the U.S. until adulthood, when her monastic vocation took her to Britain. Her poems have appeared in both online and print publications, including The Christian Century, The Windhover, A Time of Singing, Amethyst Review, The Ekphrastic Review and the Catholic Poetry Room webpage at integratedcatholiclife.org. Some of her poems can be found at www.integratedcatholiclife.org/?s=johanna+caton

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