The woman, arms loosely wrapped around him
whose heart, exhausted, no longer pours out blood,
remembers Simeon's mysterious words,
her heart pouring out long treasured memories:

- his first feeding, in a cave, wrapped tightly,
his sucking, a psalm accompanied by
lowing, braying, snorting, amid shuffling hooves,
his audience strangers come from the night
with amazing news to this amazing sight,
a heartwarming private act now public,
no less a spectacle than the heartache
that brought him to be laid across her lap;

- his first word, coaxed by her coaching, "Abba,"
babbled by a boy to his mama,
echoed in his last cry to his father;

- his first step, tottering, grasping her fingers,
his last staggering under the Roman lash;

- being about his fathers business
worrying her, while amazing teachers
with the depth of things learned at her knee.

The woman cradles his head at her breast
one last time, speaking to his broken body,
Oh, that you might once more suck fully
on the milk of my comfort. But the flow
now coming from her is not sweet milk
coaxed from her nipple by eager infant lips
but her tears moistening his dried blood, blood
that had freely flown between them in her womb,
having now been poured out upon the earth,
his side pierced, finishing it, making it clear,
his lips silent, his final lesson taught
in his last words, "Abba, thy will be done."

Understanding now Simeon's words to her,
"A sword will also pierce through your own soul,"
she comprehends too the depth her own words,
"Let it be to me according to your word,"
words she had chosen when first God's word began
to grow like a sentence forming in her womb.

© 2009 William Bache Brown