Five days from Nazareth,
driven by the words of an angel,
young Miriam has trudged up
miles of unforgiving incline;
tired. pregnant. hungry.
A frail young girl, she touches
reverently the mezuzah
above the door of Casa Zechariah,
kisses the two fingers,
calls out her ‘Shalom,’
and falls into the arms of her aunt;
Elderly Elizabeth, wondrous with her blessing,
holds the girl in her arms with
the reverence of one carrying the ark,
as the boy growing impossibly within her
in a liturgy of wonder and joy.
The not-yet prophet
dances before the
not-yet fulfillment of his prophecy.
Fr. Robert Phelps, O.F.M. Cap. Has been a Capuchin friar for 63 years and a priest for almost 55. He served for 26 years in the territory of Guam in the western Pacific, and 14 years in Hawaii. He began to write creatively when on a private retreat in a rain forest near Lahaina, Maui, in 1991. He has one full-length book of poems, In the Hug of a Sun that has Stopped, published by Lion Autumn Music Co.; two chapbooks, Ever, and Point of View, published by Finishing Line Press; and one e-book, Incessancy, published by Book Baby. He lives in a community of friars in Beacon, New York.