Mary’s point of view

Madonna and child (The Granduca Madonna), painted by Raphael in 1504. Note the clothes…

I went to breakfast earlier in the week with the story writing group and Nel read us a poem from Mary’s point of view in anticipation of Christmas. It’s terrific (quirky, funny, a little poignant even) and so I am reproducing it here, with thanks to Nel for sending through a copy by email and to the poet Robin Loftus for writing it… (and see below for a pic of us all after breaky)


It’s just not fair –
the burden of it, the tedium.
No-one asked me if I wanted all this – this endless razz-ma-tazz
always being on show
always playing the star.
Joseph and I were quite happy
in our simple way
until that arrogant angel
came with his shaft
of light and his commands.
I must say he terrified me –
he was so large and the wings,
enormous, flapping at me.
I was young at the time,
ignorant I suppose,
even a bit superstitious;
then I thought it might be fun –
mother of God? What a lark!
My pregnancy was okay, quite normal.
The trouble really started
when Joseph and I had to bed down
in that wretched stable.
It should never have happened,
but you know Joseph, so impractical,
never plans ahead.
Then the visits started –
the umbilical scarcely cut
and me not even decent.
People are so inconsiderate,
never a thought for your privacy
especially those old men
With their frankincense and myrrh –
so intrusive and bossy
completely taking over the baby and me
as if they owned us –
shoving poor Joseph aside
like he’d had nothing to do with it!
As for the baby,
well, he was thrust at me
before I felt up to it
and he’s sucked me dry ever since.
I’m tired of forever sitting
with this great child on my lap.
Why doesn’t Joseph take him sometimes
just to relieve me?
But then he’s such a passive wimp
would never stick his neck out
for fear of giving offence.
But it leaves me
with the burden of the whole show –
always looking down modestly
when I feel like screaming,
always so sweet it makes me sick;
worst of all – wearing the same clothes –
this awful red and blue
century after century –
how I’d love to go shopping.
Something new,
something in green and purple perhaps.
They wash me in asses milk
so I always look young, sweet, beautiful –
and the craziest thing
It’s true I’ve learned patience –
but any day now, I tell you,
I’m going to get down
from this tedious throne,
throw off these daggy clothes,
toss away my halo like a frisbee
and join the real women.

by Robin Loftus (from Backyard Cosmos, Catchfire Press 2000)

storywriting group

Nel, EB, Marg, Kaye, Liz at the Broadway Cafe…

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2 Responses to Mary’s point of view

  1. nickypage says:

    You might like this book for Easter reading then. The Testament of Mary tells the story of watching Jesus heading for big trouble, from a mother’s viewpoint. By Colm Toibin.

  2. I have heard that it is good Nicky, but haven’t read it. Do you have it? If so I might borrow…

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