Fall 2012, Volume 13

Poetry by Jo Ann Baldinger

The Archangelís Report

That the message got delivered at all
Was the first miracle. The sudden swoosh
Of heavy wings spooked the goats, set
The mangy dog to barking. The girl herself
Nearly toppled from her milking bench.
No, she wasn’t bent over a book —
For where, in that place, in that time,
Might she have learned to read?

When she found her breath and began to scream
He clapped a hand across her mouth.
The dog growled, bared its teeth,
Went for his ankles but became
Entangled in the billowing robes.

Then arose the matter of establishing
Identity, that part of galilee
Being remote, the street numbers
Haphazard. Adding to the muddle,
He was looking for a Mary,
While the milkmaid claimed her name was Miriam.

Then he, the loveliest of god’s angels,
Told the barefooted girl what would happen.
And she listened, though it all felt
Like a dream, and sounded so in his telling.
It had already begun, he said. There would be
A donkey, a star, her son’s ragtag followers.
A trial — but no, he never spoke of that.
And afterward, the weeping.




BIO: Jo Ann Baldinger writes poems, practices yoga, and tries to be patient.