Mary, Waiting: Two Poems

Advent Litany

Lord Jesus, come soon!

I am stretched to breaking with waiting for you,

Beyond repair,

Though not beyond grace.


Oh, come quickly!

For though I know neither the day nor the hour,

Still, I know you will come;

That there will be a time, outside of time, when I will hold you in my arms

and you will take my face in your hands.

For you are already here within me

Though not yet here in the world.


Lord Jesus, come soon!

How am I today, I am asked,

And I respond in the only way I can:

Still pregnant with the promise of you,

You whom I have known for nine months

(perhaps longer)

and yet whom I know not at all.


Oh, come quickly!

You have searched my soul and know me,

Still in your mother’s womb,

But when I see your face you will not speak my name.


Lord Jesus, come soon!

Mother, you will say, years hence, Here is your son. 

Mary, you will say to another, who will await you then 

as desperately as I do now.


Oh, come quickly!

At the moment of your birth, at the dawning of that day, 

I will see your face and know that your name is











Mother, listen


Promises made in the Book of Luke 

are for all babies, not just the holy ones.

(aren’t all babies holy?)

The dawn from on high will break upon us 

(yea, a sword shall pierce thy own soul also)

from generation to generation

a cross, a nail

a bullet

a knee


a night and day and night again of laboring

shall pierce thy own soul also

again, as you relive the longest day and night of your own life

anew, as you are outside it this time


a mother

pray for us now and at the hour of our death

keep these things, and ponder them in your heart


(for you know them already

the saying of them is for the speaker

not for you – the sword in your soul

has dwelt there since the annunciation

of the promise of this birth

and you knew its pain already when you said

here I am, Lord, your faithful servant)

                                — Erica Jacobs-Perkins


  1. Reply
    Ann Elbourne says:

    Lovely thought-provoking poems. Thank you Erica

  2. Reply
    Vera Burt says:

    Thank you, Erica, for your inspirational poems.

  3. Reply
    Daddy says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts.

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