In the Gallery

On a painting of The Annunciation

Deborah Beach Giordano
© November 28, 2011

There is the blessed Virgin
the first
of a countless multitude

coating wall after wall:
a holy mildew
of blue-clad girls

with flawless skin
clear eyes
and fulsome bodies;

resembling, most often
(so we are told),
the artists’ concubines.

The ultimate example
of the whore-virgin dichotomy
revealed before our eyes.

What if Mary
wasn’t perfectly pretty –
but undeniably unattractive?

Could we bear it
if the God-bearer
wasn’t photogenic:

if her teeth were stained
or chipped
or a couple were missing,

if her smile
was lopsided,
her nose askew,

what if her brows were thick,
her hair was thin,
and she needed a manicure?

What if Mary
was just a plain Jane kid
and not a raving beauty –

would we recognize
the inner holiness
that God so clearly saw?

And
do we
now?

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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