This poem was written to accompany the singing of the choral work by the same name, by Chrysogonus Waddell OSC, sung at Cedar Park’s Christmas Choir Celebration. ┬áSome of you have asked to read it again.

No Rose of Such Virtue

Mary,
Semper Virginem,
upon your pedestal
to the left of the high altar
all dressed in the palest of blue,
with the pinkest of blushes on the sweetest of cheeks,
your mouth with the barest hint of a holy smile,
and your fine-boned hands cradling
– ever so gently –
a thorn-less red rose.

How unreachable a mystery
you were to this
rag-tag wild child
with skinned knees,
black-lined finger nails,
and a nettle-stung nose.

They taught me to sing
of your virtue,
having none of my own.
At least not the pale,
alabaster virtue of
stillness
that eludes me still.

Now, though,
I know something
of your true virtue.
Virtue,
the strength it takes
to bear a child.
To truly bear,
from birth to death,
– whose is no matter-
a child of your flesh,
cradled in care-worn hands,
blood red,
like a rose.

Elisabeth Jones. December 11, 2016