The Anointing

Baptism of fire, the oil
dripped and was assuaged by
a linen napkin the gentle
press of strange fingers on my

I was in a burning dream, the gap
widening between my surroundings
and my mind, the angel
never came, the beam
of light withdrawn and

in the darkness I saw faces
unrecognised.  The moment was
real but void, there but
nullified, the cold church of my
heart echoed

and there was no answering word.
I did not turn round beautiful,
too pale, too alabaster for the
self to stand there as
woman - orphaned

to the arms of time and space.  The
silence crowded in and the
words emptied themselves - there
was no Mary-ing, no
virgin moment when I
changed and was arrowed by
angel seed to grow.  Unwombed
I was left, fallow and
broken by the hardship of the
wood I had to swallow.

The moment never came, the
iron was hard, the stave
unyielding and I turned to
face the vacancy, cup the ugly
giftlessness in my two nerveless hands.
A Glass of Pure Water
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