This day by the sea

March 27, 2017

—March 25, 2016

Annunciation Day and Good Friday,
a rare convergence, not to happen again
for over a century. “This doubtful day
of feast or fast,” wrote Donne.
“Christ came and went away.”

Dawn opened like the rose in Mary’s hand,
ignited the surf for one brief hour
before the cloud bank fell, heavy and gray.
Crash and sigh, thrust and withdrawal
over and over. The cries of gulls,

as though there are no words for such
compression, only the vowels of a young
girl’s “yes” crammed against abandonment—
groan and hiss becoming night,
her son’s raw cry into emptiness.