Under the Crucifix
In this last week of Advent, we walk along to the cadence of creation yearning for its Savior's coming. Creative writer Mawi Sonna gives life to this heartbeat in the form of poetry.
Under the Crucifix
Advent in translation, means a human heart
will burst blood and water, means a body’s
gravity will pull the old moon and redemption
upon freshly carved dogwood as sorrow hangs
from his cheekbones, and a last breath unravels
self-annihilation before atonement. It means
springtime orchards and cattle, red pine
and dying cedarwood can feel their wounds
wrapped and mended. It means
two thousand years later, I will lower head
and eyes to altar bells for a God blueprinted
in my ancestors. Their severed tree, at last
in proximity of blooming. And as one body
writes an ending before a birth, grace outlines
the shape of grief. But grace too, fills in what
is joy. He shimmers down before the last ring
and even though I am unable to receive Him
I watch palms unfold like daylilies, each entering
the last supper and nativity. How each eye brushes
light’s texture, a thin fold of holiness, its edges
an expanding universe soaked within all weathered
by condition. And each tongue repeats the arrival
of the Passover lamb. Yet it too, means the Creator
can hold His creation. And as Advent candles flicker
between rustling coats and chapel pews lower
I realize this ritual is only simple in appearance.
That to repeat silence, means the act of making
room for the divine aches in the small chamber
of the human nave, where we too, respond.
Mawi Sonna is a graduate student in English Literature and Creative Writing. She is enchanted by the crucifix, poetry, tiktok, and supermarket flowers. After various encounters with Catholicism, she cannot wait to enter the Church in April, but is currently savoring the journey home.