For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2010
-after Giotto’s ‘Meeting at the Golden Gate’
~For the loving protection of all nascent human life~
Jerusalem, where fell your Golden Gate
when the siege pulled your stone walls down?
I’ll take a pilgrim journey to find that place
where your daughter’s parents had come.
An embrace portrayed by painting wants me to find
the place where a kiss reunited a husband and wife,
and the painting I see is not of two, but now of three
who meet under failing gold to fulfill hope of a future freedom.
Joachim, some say, was a priest once expelled
through a rumored curse signaled by Ann’s barren state.
Now he returns to cross Jerusalem’s main gate,
and there to be received by Ann who’d receive his kiss.
The painting halts, the words do not:
the parents must then pass through the gate,
Ann with child–the child from first life & first growth
for the fullness of grace: she is conceived without sin!
Then open the grand gates of gold you Judean guards, blast with shofar,
let foreign centurions have cause for concern: Joachim and Ann are here
at Jerusalem’s entrance with your new tabernacle who will carry your new covenant;
parents whose growing joy is she who is the eve of your King’s incarnation.
Hail the grandparents of the King to come,
Hail the parents of the Queen,
Hail to the newly formed life in Ann’s womb:
the Immaculate infant Mary, who’ll carry the King.