A Virgin A Day ~The Visit (a poem by Noelle Renee)

Botticelli’s The Madonna of the Magnificat
The Visit
A rush of white wings, disturbing and distant,
Word whispered from the mouth of God, filling the feminine ear.
Enfleshed then, the Ave Child, swells the belly of a brown-skinned girl,
who tenderly dreams of loving a man, a fashioner of homely, wooden things—
stalwart sacrificer of cedar, he builds a sturdy life for she who knows not man.
A Jew of low degree, she has no family name to expiate the shame of her new shape;
a girl grown up in temple, she knows the lot of those who transgress Law.
Yet hearing in her heart the Holy Word, she feels the joy,
of one who carries within her womb—tender mercy, incarnate love.
She, least liberated, ponders the embryonic epiphany of an enslaved race.
Invoking ancestral voices, she articulates the deep heart cries of a nomadic people, who journeyed far from occupied lands, and placed their hope in the historic promise
of an invisible, yet uncompromising God.
It is for this promise that her people have suffered;
it is for this reason that they exist at all.
It is her uncompromising assent to conceive the impossible
that makes visible the destiny of a chosen, yet outcast tribe.
As her man molds the corners of a cradle for the unknown, unborn child
She weeps for the sacrifice of trees, green saplings
Cut down by loving hands to bear a sacred son.
Dreaming that night, hand on her belly, she sees other hands, hateful,  Herodic,
Cutting down cedars, young but mature, to bear and sacrifice the Savior of the world.
Suckling our little God, she experiences intimacy with the Heart of Heaven;
Soul searching in silence, she knows woman’s limitless love for her own flesh—
Heart severed in sorrow, she comprehends the reach of the human spirit to accept the sudden and startling embrace of that which God chose to become.
--Noelle Clearwater (c)1996 revised 2012

 I wrote this during Christmastide some years ago, thinking about Mary and her significant role in the drama of the birth of the Messiah. It is a beautiful story and she is an important archetype for many women, but she is often made to seem small in the larger scheme of things. I think that her motherly love, her suffering and poverty, and her choices and sacrifices are profound. Many women make these significant choices every day but they are not celebrated in this way although they should be. It is the women of the world who make the deepest changes in their children and so to the world.
--Noelle Renee

*Poem is copyrighted by Noelle Clearwater.


  1. Beautiful painting, poem and interpretation. Thank you --

  2. That is very dear of you to say, really. Thank you :-).

  3. Thanks dear. I am very glad that it resonated with you and touched your


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