By Brian Phipps
On the Feast of the Birth of the Theotokos
And didn’t her arrival change
all things? So long they had been
standing at the threshold, hopes
in hand, and she redeemed them.
From their oneness, they formed
a door, a portal through which
the world poured forth into light.
On the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos
into the Temple
And did they then regret their bargain
with the Lord? The visitation of his favor
proved so brief, and in this rite
of passage they relinquished everything,
except the right to visit her. But where
she ventured now they could not
follow—only watch her departure
through the gate, her veiled flight
into otherness, the holiest of holies,
their one flesh being made two.
On the Feast of Gabriel’s Announcement
to the Theotokos
And wouldn’t they have
sought a different path?
It wasn’t what they’d hoped
for her—scandal and all its
they discovered disappointment
could not dry up their love
for her: they’d embraced their own
annunciation years ago.
On the Feast of the Falling Asleep
of the Theotokos
And could they have approved
her any more? They fell asleep
before the story’s end, before
the promised fruit fulfilled
his promise, long before her falling
asleep. But she had been a dream
for them, a visitant cherished
on their migration, the gate which
they, passing away, passed through.
Brian Phipps is the author of Before the Burning Bush (Univ. of St. Katherine Press, 2018), a collection of poems. He has published poetry in several literary journals, including St. Katherine Review, Rock and Sling, Relief, The Other Journal, and Anglican Theological Review. Brian serves as a chanter in his Greek Orthodox parish, and works as an editor for a book publishing company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he lives with his wife and kids.