Mary, first teacher of The Word

The Lyricist Generates Life Lessons for The Word
in honor of Mary, Mother of Jesus
by Mary Harwell Sayler

The poem she had in mind would seldom rhyme, except
for joy or emphasis, but would assist the rhythm of the
breath and help her Child to sense each subtle variation.

The poem would be a living thing composed of words
comprising people: So many people, so many ways – the
song might require a choral refrain to be conveyed.

The best she could offer would be wordplays to gain an
ear’s attention into the world in which they moved – a
place where matter mattered more than navigation. It
would be up to God to save it; up to her to keep well-
versed in idioms of nature and diverse patterns of the self.

Somehow she’d fill the little spaces with smells of roses
and wild onions, the sounds of insects, a touch of wine
on the tongue, a taste of olives and fish, and yes, she’d
describe to Him small details known only to a woman.

The poem she had in mind would bring a life-time filled
with stories, embodying emotions wrought with worries,
wishful thinking, and disappointment too, yet remaining
true to nuance and her persistent stance on possibility.

Stanzas would vary, of course, subject to the insistence
of each soul, but she would keep the lyrics going as long
as she could speak with clarity and ease for the whole
world’s body and not raise a voice against it but in plea.

© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Originally published in the 2012 anthology Poetry in the Cathedral, this poem later appears in Mary’s book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.


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