The Visitation

Catholic Poetry Room This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Fr. Robert Phelps, O.F.M. Cap.

The Visitation

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;
overcome, weeping.

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.

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