('In the sixth month the angel Gabriel...' Luke 1:26)

Father Kilian McDonnell

Bellini has it wrong.
I was not kneeling on my satin cushion,
in a beam of light, head slightly bent.

Painters always skew the scene,
as though my life were wrapped in silks,
in temple smells.

Actually, I had just come back from the well.
Placing the pitcher on the table
I bumped against the edge, spilling water on the floor.

As I bent to wipe it up,
there was a light against the kitchen wall,
as though someone had opened the door to the sun.

Rag in hand,
hair across my face,
I turned to see who was entering,
unannounced, unasked.

All I saw was a light,
white against the timbers.
I heard a voice
I had never heard before.

I heard a greeting
I was elected.
I would bear a son,
who would reign forever.
I stood afraid.

Someone closed the door.
And I dropped the rag.


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Father Kilian McDonnell , was last modified Thursday, 06/01/2006 11:11:42 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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