And why should I not be smiling,
knowing what I know now
about what comes after all this
when all the evil falls down,
when justice bursts like a sweet flood through the streets
and all the pennies thrown into all wishing wells
rise up like miracles?
Let me tell you the Good News:
There is Good News.
goodness, somewhere, rushing toward us
in the place where future meets present tense.
Hope unwinds across the fragile world
and whispers its nightmares away.
There is a good day coming, I can see it,
when the walls built up between countries
crumble back into the earth they rose from
and all the people run free where they want
like every contour of every nation was shaped by the same God,
there’s a day coming when bullets freeze themselves
in the policeman’s guns, when all the Border Patrol cars
stall out in one breath, their guns and tasers
melt into plows and paintbrushes,
and the children trapped in desert camps
sing down the walls that hold them,
they sing back the road to their mothers and their fathers.
The day is coming when the president
is banned from Twitter, a day when CEOs
open their wallets
because they are bankrupt of love
and all their paper is just paper
and the politicians topple
from their soft seats on national television
their nameplates erase themselves
and Justice raises her foot to crush all those who crushed their neighbor.
See how the prison bars pull away from each other
and make a bridge to return the citizens bottled up in them,
reverse the flow of the pipeline and the fathers come home
and the mothers come home and the children come home
and all the broken pieces of your heart come back home.
Here a day is coming when the lead coughs itself out of the children of Flint,
the PFAS climbs from our rivers and writes a letter in the sky:
this water is yours now.
And sunflowers burst from oil spills, the squash and the bean vine
return to hug their sister corn stalk and the fields run messy and abundant
with all we need, even the whales put on weight, their low songs
skim across the ocean bursting pollution from their migration path.
The day we admit migration is a habit every animal is in love with.
The days are here
when love wins
when the last word is love
when the hands of abusers
freeze like deadweights on their arms,
when men open their mouths
to contradict women
and nothing comes out.
When the halls of power
ring out with a chorus of
I believe women.
And God is a woman, but not the way Ariana Grande thinks.
And God is judgmental but not because God is mean
but because God is all goodness sorting itself out from all evil
and goodness reaches into every cracked chasm of our lives
until it overflows with love and love and love and love.
That’s why my smile scares you, isn’t it:
because I tell the truth
you never thought you’d see me
trade two fistfuls of anger
for two fistfuls of hope
pulling it up from the bottom of the ocean like seashells
and don’t you wish you knew what it was to feel this joy?
See I heard the death you plot behind closed doors,
the belts you pulled tighter across the poor
how insecure you are that you need to make me mourn.
But I borrow joy from a future
where your breath can’t reach, where your power doesn’t speak,
I am in celebration for all our coming healing.
Justice is the tsunami I will surf
that gorgeous river setting everything free
and don’t you see?
This is just the beginning.
This poem, based on Luke 1:46-55 was written and shared by Hillary Watson at Shalom Community Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dec. 16, 2018.
2 thoughts on “A New Magnificat”
Thanks for this re-telling of this revolutionary song.
I loved it especially after being reminded by an opinion piece in the Washington Post how little attention is given to Mary’s Song in many evangelical (and other) churches.
Wow, I’m breathless, this is so powerful so poignant for this moment. Thank you, Hillary!