Descend, Ascend (After Luci Shaw’s “Made Flesh”)

As Advent draws frighteningly close to its festive conclusion, it’s time to catch up on the December poems for my 12 Poets Project. Today we enter another of Luci Shaw’s reflections on the Christmas story, the beautiful “Made Flesh” which was the inspiration for my next poem.

Descend, Ascend (After Luci Shaw's "Made Flesh")

Now, as the angel's greeting shimmers,
Mary trembles.
The Maker of the stars and spheres
Becomes impossibly
Small: a zygote, an idea,
A point of debate.
The giver of life clings on
For life, umbelical-bound,
Co-dependent, finite, weak,
And then,
As though the insult weren't enough:
The smell of hay, the taste of dust;
Darkness greets the Light of Life,
Cows draw near to see the scene,
Shepherds sing.
Can it be? Son of David, Sun of Dawn,
Pushing out through flesh, now flesh?
How low can such majesty descend,
How high can we reach for answers?
Yet I too, made of flesh,
Need not feel ashamed;
The taste of dust, I know it well -
And it,
Made precious by his hands,
His feet, the knees that crawled in it,
Declares that I am made of him,
Born to his flesh,
His hands, his feet,
Lifted as he is brought low,
And I will rise like him.

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