after Henry Ossawa Tanner’s “Annunciation”
She awakened to a silver fog
formed from the condensation of her breath.
Trembling she drew her mantle from her head;
the chill air twined about her like a wreath.
The window to the garden lay unlatched
and snow and moonlight eddied in the sky.
The crown of seven stars rose as she watched.
A light sparked in her eyes’ periphery.
His gaze was daggers and his tongue a sword; the
ocean tremor of the angel’s voice
declared to her the favor of the Lord
and burdened her with the full weight of grace.
The room was chiller after, the moon dimmed.
She regained her feet and raised her gaze.
A warmth sparked in the recess of her womb.
The watchman’s horn announced the coming day.
by Jessica Wood
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