Mary in the Garden
It felt sensible – looking there,
in the place of rest and calm and lifelessness.
It felt right to come,
to spend some time looking back
at what was.
It felt natural to think, ‘this is the gardener,
intent in the garden,
at home there’.
My eyes never were my strength.
They look great, I’d been told.
But I never see well.
And I had been crying for three days.
Cups full of tears.
More: streams and rivers full
Why did I not recognize his voice?
That kind, strong, clear, loving
voice: his living, giving voice?
It all passed me by.
Only one thing got through to me.
‘Miriam’, he said.
For the first time I owned its sad meaning:
And that was me.
I was the bitter one in the garden.
I was locked inside myself.
I was all self.
I thought I was looking – I was blind.
I thought I was listening – I was deaf.
All I could hear was my own name:
Miriam – Bitter one.
Then I could see.
I yelled it out.
I lunged. He pulled back.
I rushed. He dodged me.
‘No! Do not touch me!’
It was all I wanted. To hold
and be held.
All my desire had been re-gathered.
It was all focussed on him.
I wanted to hold him as a mother
holds her newborn before it is wrapped.
It was frustration yet joy-filed.
Cathartic – yet still I hurt.
He looked at me calmly.
He held me with his gaze.
We were silent.
Then he spoke:
You see me. You hear me.
Do not touch. Do not follow.
You must speak.
You must tell.
You must go.
Bitterness must depart.
Sorrow must depart.
You must depart.
Now – Mary,
Simply say what you have seen.
Simply say what you have heard.
Mary, my Mary,
Let your love be my witness
Let your witness be to my love.
Change the world!