Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fact and Fiction

Often facts are the frame fiction builds upon. Earlier this year as I read the gospels, the facts of Christ’s advent moved me. I considered what Mary, her family, Joseph, even Zachariah and Elizabeth felt. Surely they experienced emotional turmoil and social fears, mental stress and many tears. After all, these people were ordinary people living out extraordinary circumstances without the benefit we enjoy of knowing that all would end well. Faith kept them moving forward despite faltering steps, just as our faith does when we follow God’s leading. As I pondered their situations, I wrote poems.

When I reread that collection of poems called Journey to Christmas, I realized the power of fiction in poetry. I don’t know exactly what Mary felt, what her fears were or the mental duress Joseph endured, but I can imagine and the imagining stirs wonder.

As we count down the days to celebrate the birth of the One We Are Waiting For, I hope you will download the Kindle book, Journey to Christmas, (available this weekend) for a fresh perspective on an old, but very important story. Merry Christmas, Hoosier Ink friends.

Mary's Growing Dilemma
Doubt will peck at faith when we predetermine how God will work.
Faith grows only as we cling like a branch to the life-giving vine.

I thought surely God would announce it at temple aloud,
reveal it to good men by an angel on a cloud,
give insight to neighbors in an awestruck crowd,
at least that my parents and Joseph would be allowed.

Why are you silent, God?

Must I bear all the burden, all the shame,
and the ridicule of my good name?
How in the world can I explain
things are not the way they seem?
The child inside wasn't conceived
by manly force or a husband's need.
No, God himself did a miraculous deed
when the angel's words I dared believe.

Yet rejection will become my lot
for though I'm pure, they'll think I'm not
and the promises of prophets are quickly forgot
when the handmaiden chosen is the girl down the block.

Why are you silent, God?

This God- child inside stirs, a fluttering hello.
It's just you and me with the whole world our foe
I know I said yes, but where can I go
to be safe, to keep you safe, until everyone knows?

Gabrielle said Elizabeth was with child, too.
Another miracle! Perhaps she'll see me through.
Perhaps she'll understand and teach me what to do,
until everyone knows what once only I knew.

Mary Allen lives in the Midwest. She was La Porte County Poet Laureate from 2010-2011 and serves as Arts in the Park Poetry Chair. Mary can be found on The Barn, has published numerous articles, two real life stories in the inspirational "Kernels of Hope", and a book of poems, "Journey to Christmas".