Illumination

Like a trapezoid
confined to a rectangle
the angel stooped to an earth
closeted by angles.
Mary, hiding herself behind his wing,
sheltered in its comforting shade.
Around the edge
of the wing’s circumference,
an unaccustomed brilliance gathered
like sunlight reflecting
off the curvature of the sea.
Improbable epiphany,
unlikely reflection:
you will fly.
She pondered the message
in her heart
like a hungry eaglet
hearing the words:
“You too will fly.”

Witness to farflung mystery,
light penetrated
the darkness of wings
as heat and warmth.
The hunger of talon and beak,
maternal and paternal love,
embodied in a windspun
spreadeagled
shape
looming on the horizon,
neither heavy nor light,
balanced, perched, stirring winds,
striving.

Like a ray,
Mary, circumspect,
juxtaposed
ache of being
with carefree aerie,
arched heavenward,
homing
like a dove.

Sunlight gilt the edges of his wings
like the painted borders
of an illuminated manuscript:
Feast for the soul.
Earthward,
freefalling,
windswept—
Mary opened like a blossom
or a book;
then closed.

From his aerie,
the eagle judged the distance bridged,
balanced an equation.
Bird, swing over the sea!
Windswept waves,
roll and wrinkle
underneath bird’s wing!
Winds wept for this child,
Mary’s son:
Breath of prophets’ whispered words,
Child who interposes heaven’s lightness
in earth’s solid core.

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