Jesus and Mary at wedding in Cana

Stone Jars
by Mary Harwell Sayler

She hadn’t meant to check the flow of wine,
but, when it ended, suddenly, their em-
bryonic time together ran out too, springing
across those six steps of the universe
and descending into six stone jars
of water.

For one creative moment, they rehearsed
another hour, transparent,
with transformations yet to come,
and, still, He asked, so like a child,

“What has this to do with Me or you?”

She had no answer for Him,
no command, no sign
but poured, instead, instructions
onto the waiting stewards
of the wedding wine.

“Do as He says,” she simply said,
but making it as clear as water
that she knew Him as The One
to trust.

by a crowd half crazed with disbelief,
she sought Him – called Him home –
like any good mother apt to calm
a storm with solemn warnings
and warm bowls of chicken soup.

But He’d grown so far beyond the womb –
empty now, swept clean
she scarcely knew what He might mean
by sowing words, seeded,
seemingly, with thorns:

“Who is My mother?”

How could this Child she’d borne
say such a thing, and yet, she knew
the sound of truth which stoned
her laboring heart with pain:

Whoever does God’s will, alone
can bear the jar
of mothering again.

© 2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Previously published in Saints Alive chapbook, this poem also appears in the book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑