Featured Poetry

Cristina Legarda – Mary

Poet Cristina Legarda’s tender poem “Mary” is written from the viewpoint of the mother of Jesus Christ, as she looks back with a heart full of love and sadness at moments with her divine child. The poem brings an intense and relatable humanity to Mary and to her son, even when discussing things such as miracles and prophecy. Cristina explains, “As a lapsed Catholic I remain fascinated by Biblical characters. The New Testament says Jesus’ mother pondered in her heart what she experienced; how might she have remembered her son? The poem reflects on this question.”

Luke 2:19

When you were little
you got angry at a bird made of clay
and smashed it without meaning to.
My sweet boy, how you wept with regret.
You cupped the bird in your tiny hands
and said you wanted it to live
and the bird took wing and flew away.
How does a mother
teach a son about power
when for him a mere word
or a touch will suffice
to work his will in the world?

You once said to me,
“The prophets are not greater
than you.” A feminist
at five years old. “But perhaps,”
I said, “a little louder,” and
we had a good laugh
over honey cakes and dates.
That was a lifetime ago
but now here in Ephesus
I often think of those days
when you were small
but your heart was so full,
your future with all its pain
far away, and each moment
brighter and more precious
than gold.

Cristina Legarda

Cristina Legarda was born in the Philippines and spent her early childhood there before moving to Bethesda, Maryland. She is now a practicing physician in Boston. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in America magazine, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Journal of Medical Humanities, Dappled Things, Plainsongs, FOLIO, HeartWood Literary Magazine, and others.
She can be found on Instagram at @poetintheOR.

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