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