Friday, April 3, 2009

Marilyn Nelson. Magnificent.

"...The man in their gift shop was an expert
on the Sisters’ long struggle to find a way
to serve the Christian Church and Candombl.
The eldest Sister is called 'the Perpetual Judge';
every seventh year, she becomes the bridge
on which the Virgin Mary crosses back,
sorrowing love incarnate in a black
ninety-odd-year-old woman facing death
and saying Magnificat with every breath.

We drove out of the valley looking back
on lightbulbs which intensified the thick,
incomprehensible, mysterious
darkness of the unknown. Grown serious
and silent in our air-conditioned van,
we rode back into the quotidian."