Elizabeth

Elizabeth,
your ears were far from dull
for in the first word Mary spoke
you heard her silent child.
(and so did John.)

Elizabeth,
your eyes were far from dim;
you saw young Mary ripe with news
and witnessed to the fullness of her womb
before she told her secret.
(so did John.)

Elizabeth,
your womb was far from small
to hold the leaping baby and the Holy Ghost
who surely noticed how you listened, how you watched.
He must have liked the way you leapt to Mary’s heart
for He leapt too.
(and so did John.)

Elizabeth,
your life was far from barren
on the day you gave your joy
(in John)
away in joy for Mary.
(and her son.)

In that single, gay encounter,
in that — oh! so instant — leap you joyed
so far from your own heart, you joyed
so close to Mary’s joy, perhaps you weren’t aware
you sowed your hard-won eyes and ears.
(in John.)

Were you aware the Holy Ghost enjoyed
so much to leap along your senses to your womb?
Were you aware you poured Him in,
(to John)
and out into the room?

We wish you could have seen Him playing
in and out among the four of you,
delighted so with friends
of Joy in Greater Voices;
wish you could have seen Him wake the children
like a Christmas dawn, delighted so
to be their first encounter.

Maybe, mother, you were not aware
you sowed the act of friendship deep
in John
and maybe, mothers, you were not aware
your friendship sowed your joy in greater voices then and there
in Jesus and in John.

Elizabeth,
you birthed unsung
and left your John obscure among the jackels.
Perhaps you aren’t aware we are aware
you were not dull, dim, small, or dry;
you did not die; you made, then bore, then left a friend:
a Seeker of the Greater voices.
Your hard-won art stayed on in him.

Saint John
The Bridegroom’s friend,
while even now rejoicing in that greater voice
perhaps you’re not aware we know your secrets:
why you waited in the barren lands for God;
why the son of Mary sought you out;
how you saw Him from afar, and knew His voice;
why you gladly sent your friends to Him;
why the Holy Ghost still leaps to your encounters;
how the friends of friends are blessed on blessed.

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