A Christmas Poem

Natalie Lennard, Born of Calamity, 2019. Giclee on Hahnemuhle Pearl Paper. Artist’s collection.

Sometimes I wonder
if Mary breastfed Jesus.
if she cried out when he bit her
or if she sobbed when he would not latch.

and sometimes I wonder
if this is all too vulgar
to ask in a church
full of men
without milk stains on their shirts
or coconut oil on their breasts
preaching from pulpits off limits to the Mother of God.

but then i think of feeding Jesus,
birthing Jesus,
the expulsion of blood
and smell of sweat,
the salt of a mother’s tears
onto the soft head of the Salt of the Earth,
feeling lonely
and tired
hungry
annoyed
overwhelmed
loving

and i think,
if the vulgarity of birth is not
honestly preached
by men who carry power but not burden,
who carry privilege but not labor,
who carry authority but not submission,
then it should not be preached at all.

because the real scandal of the Birth of God
lies in the cracked nipples of a
14 year old
and not in the sermons of ministers
who say women
are too delicate
to lead.

– Kaitlin Hardy Shetler

[Source: reddit]

2 comments

  1. This is a very strong poem and beautiful too. To say both beautiful and strong is to repeat what the poet says about Mary. The combination is why any Church that claims to be Christian must know that women belong in its leadership. Anything less is a betrayal of Mary, and so of Jesus who fed from her breast. Today many Christian churches no longer feed on that same source that made Jesus live.

    Like

  2. Thank you for sharing this poem that points to the encarnation of God in a very very real way…to touch our reality until the most deep of our being, cells, bones, blood, filth…( Sorry my english is not as good as I would like to express what I want)

    Like

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