Deborah L. Humphreys

presentation day

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3 Decades
Faraway Hills
Is Glas Iad
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what could be harder, she wonders
then this giving
birth, bringing this one,
greedy for air
eyelids tight against light,
lips pressed to suck
a world

in the beginning
she remembers the dreaming
the angel
found her restless, took her
imagination, seduced her
by promise, by temptation
dangled from familiar and beloved
words of sacred writings

ritual has its obligations: the magic
of two: turtledoves, pigeons,
dandelions and the humble face, whatever offerings
they say
purifies past wounds, the fears
the wishes of the ancients for release
after seeing what they waited for
year upon year
she leaves the temple
the blessing of simeon
trailing her
a cloying incense
the sword that pierces your heart
opens your ears